Welcome to Spring. Let me begin with some wonderful news. We have learned that we will be the recipient of a substantial bequest for the AGS Library from Prof. Robert McColl and his wife Suzanne, of Lawrence, Kansas. When Prof. McColl retired from the University of Kansas several years ago, he donated his extensive and outstanding collection of materials on China, his field of research, to the AGS Library. The McColls recognize the unique resources held in the AGS Library and want to make sure that these resources are made known to researchers around the world. In addition to their planned gift, the McColls have donated funds, which we will use to obtain matching grants and endowments. This money will underwrite two new fellowships for research in the AGS Library, and will support the purchase of additional geographical resources from China and the digitization of our extensive and rare photographic collection for placement on the web. Christopher Baruth, the Curator of the AGS Library, has been working very closely with Prof. McColl to make these exciting ideas into realities. We are most grateful for their generosity and know that this support will benefit researchers for years to come.
The coffee shop in the Gathering Place@ your library, which opened in the fall, has been a tremendous success. I see students, faculty, and staff from around the campus enjoying the comfortable seating and wireless access. With a little help from our "Friends" (of the Golda Meir Library), we will be adding some more groupings of comfortable seats in other areas of the library building.
Through cooperative work with the other 26 UW System Libraries, our users have access to more electronic resources than would ever be possible for UWM alone to provide. Because our joint request 2005/07 fiscal year for new library funding to increase our resources, augment our delivery system around the state, and expand our digital collections, was not funded, we will need to deepen our collaboration and create new models of developing our collections as truly "one system, one library." This means that our statewide Taskforce on Collection Development, which I chair, will aggressively pursue the goal of reducing duplication across the UW Libraries. The savings would provide each of us with funds to purchase unique resources to support core research and instructional needs. In tandem with fewer copies of books and journals held in UW System Libraries, we will continue to provide quick, efficient delivery of resources needed for research and teaching.
We look forward to seeing you at some of our upcoming events. April and May offer several exciting speakers in the Libraries including Aaron Lansky, author of "Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books," on April 17 and Earl McElfresh, nationally-known expert on Civil War mapping, on April 27. A panel discussion on May 26 with Mayor Tom Barrett and Architecture Dean Robert Greenstreet, focusing on Milwaukee, promises to be interesting. See you at the Libraries!
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning Dean Robert Greenstreet will speak at the UWM Libraries on May 26, at 5:45 p.m. Mayor Barrett and Dean Greenstreet, who is also Milwaukee's city planner/architect, will discuss Milwaukee's city planning criteria and project initiatives. Their talk, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Friends of the Golda Meir Library's Annual Meeting, and will be held in the Golda Meir Library's fourth floor Conference Center. A reception with refreshments follows the event. For more information, please call 414-229-4786.
Above is a photograph, taken between 1910 and 1920, of the library at the Milwaukee Normal School, one of UWM's predecessor institutions. Located in Mitchell Hall, the library in 1920 was open 48 hours per week during the regular school year (compared to 96 hours per week in 2004/05) and it owned 30,793 reference books; 42,949 texts; 9,700 pictures; and 2,400 pamphlets (compared to over 5.1 million items at present).
The UWM community is benefiting from a number of endowments established at the UWM Libraries by Milwaukee families. Briefly featured below are three families who express their philanthropic spirit by providing significant and ongoing support for the Libraries.
John S. Best was a prominent Milwaukee attorney, book-collector, conservationist, and dog breeder. Following his death, his wife Helen donated her husband's personal collection of books and established an endowment to honor his memory. This endowment funds the Helen and John S. Best Research Fellowships for the American Geographical Society Library, and also supports the purchase of rare and valuable books for Special Collections. One such recent acquisition is renowned American printmaker Barry Moser's limited-edition two-volume Holy Bible (1999), the first fully illustrated Bible by a single artist since the mid-19th century.
Another local family, Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert, has set up an endowment through the Friends of the Golda Meir Library to benefit the Libraries (Thomas serves on the board of the Friends). In addition, they have donated over 12,000 postcards to the Libraries. Housed in the Archives, the Thomas and Jean Ross Bliffert Postcard Collection covers a broad range of subjects. A selection from the Bliffert Collection focusing on postcards with images of Milwaukee (1900-1959) has been digitized and is available at Digital Collections on the UWM Libraries' Web site.
From the 1860's into the 1920's, George and Henrietta Brumder created a Milwaukee publishing empire that became one of the nation's leading German language publishers in America. In 1990, the late Frederick I. Olson, a noted local historian and former UWM history professor, and Gerhard Rauscher, UWM professor emeritus of German, donated German-language materials that became the core of the George Brumder Collection. Fund raising is underway to establish an endowment to enlarge and preserve the Brumder Collection. Several Brumder families have joined in with the effort.
The UWM Libraries are grateful for the interest, involvement, and generosity of these Milwaukee families. Each is ensuring the continued excellence of the Libraries. Creating an endowment is just one way to support the Libraries; there are many others. To learn more, contact Susan Modder, Development Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-2811.
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Created: April 14, 2005
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