Library History Exhibits

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center sponsors an exhibit of Wisconsin library memorabilia which is available for display in Wisconsin libraries. The collection belongs to retired librarian Larry T. Nix. The exhibit includes souvenir items for many of Wisconsin’s Carnegie libraries, the Milwaukee Public Library, other public libraries, and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. A variety of souvenir items including china, spoons, paperweights, and picture postcards are part of the exhibit. The Wisconsin Library Memorabilia Exhibit has been displayed at libraries around the state.

Special exhibits have also been created for display at libraries. An exhibit featuring the Booklovers Library and the Tabard Inn Library, two early 20th century commercial libraries, was created for the Menasha Public Library which owns a Tabard Inn Library revolving bookcase.  An exhibit was created to help the Eastern Shores Library System celebrate its 30th anniversary.  An exhibit has been created on Andrew Carnegie’s Wisconsin Library Legacy and has been shown at several libraries.  Exhibits have also been prepared for display at WLA Conferences.  Although not specifically related to Wisconsin, an exhibit on the American Library Association’s Library War Service in World War I was created for display libraries.

Requests for the exhibit should be submitted to Larry T. Nix at nix@libraryhistorybuff.org. Because of the fragile nature of many of the items in the exhibit and the wide variation in display cases, it is installed and taken down personally by Nix. To be eligible to display the exhibit a library must have a locked display case. Because of travel costs, libraries which are more than a one day’s round trip distance from Middleton will not normally be considered for the exhibit. The duration of the exhibit is normally one month. Although, there is no charge for the exhibit, a donation to the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is encouraged.

A major purpose of the exhibit is to promote library history so libraries that host the exhibit are encouraged to publicize the exhibit through local media outlets. 

Some images of the display are shown below. Other images can be found HERE.

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