Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

ALA in Milwaukee 1886

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Saturday, December 20, 2008 in Postcards


In July, 1886, ten years after its founding, the American Library Association held its annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There were 131 men and women in attendance making it the largest meeting of the association up to that date.  The site of the conference was Milwaukee’s Plankinton House hotel. Over twenty presentations were made on a wide variety of topics at the meeting by the most prominent librarians in America at that time. A major topic under discussion at the meeting was cooperative cataloging.  Although the meeting was substantive from a professional point of view, it was the post-conference excursion that was the most interesting aspect of the meeting.  Melvil Dewey described the excursion at length in the October, 1886 issue of his publication Library Notes (pages 95-99, in Google Books).  The eight day train excursion was arranged by Klas Linderfelt, Librarian of the Milwaukee Public Librarian. The excursion traveled almost 1,500 miles from Milwaukee to Madison to Kilbourn City (now Wisconsin Dells) to La Crosse to Minneapolis to Bayfield and the Apostle Islands to Oshkosh and back to Milwaukee and Chicago.  The stop at Kilbourn City included a trip through the Upper Dells (before it was dammed) by steamboat and a float trip back down by row boats.  In appreciation of the efforts of Klas Linderfelt in arranging the excursion, those who participated gave him a small gold plated book inscribed “From the A.L.A. to K.A. Linderfelt In grateful recognition. Milwaukee, 1886”.  Six years later ALA accepted Linderfelt’s resignation in disgrace as President of the ALA.  But that’s another story.

Note: This was previously published in the WLA Newsletter for July, 2008. The image of the Plankinton House is from the Wisconsin Historical Images collection of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Image Id: 54454.



Michael Golrick Thursday, February 12, 2009

So you way that "But that's another story." about the disgrace of K.A. Linderfelt. I know he resigned in disgrace, and his name was stricken from the list of ALA Presidents....but what is the story???

Leave your comment

Guest Friday, October 24, 2014

Popular Tags

Publications Hall of Fame 2012 Special libraries Wisconsin Free Library Commission Campaign Postcards Madison Public Library Hall Exhibits Gilbert H. Doane campaign Cornelia Marving Pierce cam Events & Meetings Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries campa UW-Milwaukee Libraries Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Brown County Library Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library library memorabilia Campaign WWI Library War Service Wisconsin Historical Society Peter G. Hamon Milwaukee Public Library National Bookmobile Day presentations Library Buidlings Richard E. Krug buil Pewaukee Public Library Elroy Public Library Tower Hill Wisconsin Gerald A. Somers Eager Free Public Library Anniversaries Delia Ovitz Beaver Dam Public Library bed and breakfast School of Library and Information Studies Clarence Brown Lester Katharine MacDonald Jones John Miller Chancellor DeForest Area Public Library Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Historical Register Campaign Edward Asahel Birge J. D. Witter CCBC Hall of Fame 2010 McMillan Memorial Library Events Wisconsin Rapids Anniversaries Oshkosh Public Library traveling libraries Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends T. B. Scott Free Public Library Library Trustees Hall of Fame 2013 Library History campaign Academic Libraries Ruth Ann Montgomery Gertrude Thurow Evansville Wisconsin Postcards Hall of Fame 2012 People Library Systems Zona Gale Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Middleton Public Library Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee Hall of Fame 2011 Suring Area Public Library Library Buildings National Library Week Woman's Congress Library Artifacts Library celebrations Marketing-Publicity School libraries Beloit Public Library Frank Avery Hutchins Hall of Fame 2008 Carl Spitzweg Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Nolan I. Neds Library people Postcards Bookmobiles Bernard Schwab Hartford Public Library Hall of Fame 2014 library exhibit Public libraries ca Postcards anniversaries Sarah Janice Kee Cooperative Children's Book Center Ice Storm Digital Collections Hall fo Fame 2012 hall of Milwaukee Public Library Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries campaign bookworm archives Hall of Fame 2009 S. Janice Kee Wisconsin Library Association Lutie Eugenia Stearns background Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries American Library Association Library War Service Uncategorized Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Library people Milwaukee Art Museum Carnegie libraries Rusk County Community Library Library People Hall of Fame 2012

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo

Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Logo