Monday, January 31, 2022

Iowa Carnegie Libraries on Postcards


Iowa City, IA to South English, IA, April 17, 1905.
Message reads: "This is our library - a gift from Andrew Carnegie, that kind old Scotchman who has gladdened the hearts of so many young Americans by his munificent gifts."

Iowa received grants from Andrew Carnegie to help build 101 public libraries in 99 communities and 7 academic libraries. This was the 4th highest number of grants received by any state nationwide. One or more postcard views exist for almost all of these libraries. Judy Aulik has one of the most complete collections of Iowa Carnegie library postcards. These are displayed on her "Civic Pride in a Lost America: Library Postcards" website. The Iowa images start with this link and continue for multiple pages. I have a much more modest collection with one or more postcards for 51 of the libraries. All postcards shown in this blog post are from my collection.

The Carnegie Libraries in Iowa Project (CLIP)is the most comprehensive source of information about Iowa's Carnegie libraries. There is a separate page on the website for each of the libraries. On that page is a link to "Images" for the library. These images often include the front and back of postcards which are described in detail. Among those images are many that depict postcards from my collection which I made available to the project. The CLIP is an amazing resource and is worthy of replication in other states.

Fairfield, IA to Burlington, IA, Oct. 2, 1809.
In 1892, Fairfield, IA, received the first grant from Carnegie for a library west of PA.

Cedar Rapids, IA to Toledo, IA, Oct. 20, 1910. Cedar Rapids Public Library interior view.

Sioux City, IA to Western Spring, IL, Nov. 29, 1909. Sioux City Public Library.

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