A traveling exhibit from the Alliance for Historic Wyoming (AHW) on the history and architecture of Wyoming’s sixteen Carnegie libraries opens today at the Rock Springs Library after its stop in Laramie at Albany County Public Library. The exhibit will be in Rock Springs through April 5, concluding with a public lecture that evening at 6:30 delving into this fascinating history. AHW is still scheduling stops if you want to bring the exhibit to your community.
Carnegie libraries were so named because of the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie who funded the construction of 1,689 libraries across the country between 1889 and 1919. Wyoming had 16 Carnegie libraries, built between 1899 and 1917, a remarkable number for a state with a small and dispersed population. Today, only 10 Carnegie libraries remain standing in Wyoming; five are still used as libraries.
Rock Springs received a grant of $12,500 to build a library in 1907. The sandstone building was designed in a neoclassical style and opened in 1910. Sweetwater County is the only county in Wyoming to have two Carnegie libraries, in Rock Springs and Green River. Learn more about all the state’s Carnegie libraries at www.historicwyoming.org/carnegie-libraries.
Interested in hosting this exhibit? The next stop after Rock Springs is the Uinta County Museum in Evanston, housed in the Carnegie library building. It will then move along to other communities that have or had Carnegie library buildings. Libraries, museums, or institutions interested in hosting the exhibit, may fill out a scheduling form at www.historicwyoming.org/news-and-events/cowboy-carnegies.
The lecture and exhibit are sponsored in part by a grant from the Wyoming Humanities Council. The Alliance for Historic Wyoming is a statewide historic preservation nonprofit dedicated to protecting Wyoming’s historic places and spaces. To learn more, visit www.HistoricWyoming.org.