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Features > Milwaukee, WI (May 2008) > Behind-the-Scenes Tour Milwaukee Public Library


Recently, during my parent's visit from Iowa City, I decided to use an old certificate won at a charity auction for a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Milwaukee Public Library in downtown Milwaukee - enjoy the rarely seen parts of this Milwaukee institution! See more info on the library at the Wikipedia Milwaukee Public Library entry.


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The columns are marble up to about waist high and then another artificial material that is ground away to produce the marbled texture (at much less weight/cost)


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The dome is very bright and pretty


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An old photo during the construction of the library


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A long hallway parallel to the main entrance


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This is what the main reading room USED to look like - pretty nice


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Here's the board room (not used today for board meetings since the board is very large)


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Architectural renderings and various drawings of the furniture, stone carvings, etc


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The "M" for Milwaukee is a theme throughout the building including this chair in the board room


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A very old toilet adjoining the board room


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THIS is what the main reading room space looks like today - of course it's not the main reading room anymore, but in the 1960s it was boxed in and sadly looks nothing like it did in it's hayday


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Are these Samples? Invoices? Sample Invoices? Who knows!


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Old stuff in a library...good place to keep it!


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There was a local sculptor who made these figurines at an affordable price for the masses, unfortunately they are now worth nothing since there are so many of these items, but here's a civil war era photographer


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The History of Milwaukee is here


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Another big M


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At the top floor of the library I found the old card catalogs, this is also where a lion cub that was brought back from some Milwaukee Museum trip back in the early 1900s or so lived for some time and he can still be seen (stuffed of course) now in the Milwaukee Public Museum as the lion with a burn on his nose


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I don't think the director sits here anymore


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Here's another M from the card catalog


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Nice stone columns


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Believe it or not, the Milwaukee Public Library has their own printing press and printing shop where they produce the various summer reading and other materials


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Plenty of room for expansion of jobs I think...


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Nice block set type for a 20 year anniversary momento printing


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The really old printing press machine (not in use regularly)


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Think of all the space saved by computers with every size of font in one little file!


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This is funny, and rather frightening - I'll return my books soon!


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The Book Truck is the internal/staff publication within the Milwaukee Public Library system and there were some historic issues on display - this one from WWII


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This is what the library looked like in 1878 when it was taken over by the City of Milwaukee from the Young Men's Association who had started it with various German and other works in 1847


A view from the 2nd from highest floor I think
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This is where books that are too beaten up when they return are sorted for discard!


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