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The Wisconsin’s Own Library was created by Mary Rennebohm, wife of Wisconsin’s 32nd Governor, Oscar Rennebohm in 1948. It was initially housed at the Executive Mansion in Madison, and known as “Wisconsin’s Own Authors Collection.” When the collection needed more space the Wisconsin Federation of Women’s Clubs began its oversight at the bequest of Mrs. Rennebohm. Since its founding, the collection has been held at the UW-Madison Memorial Library, the State Historical Library, UW-Milwaukee and Beloit College. In 2007, the collection was moved to its current home at Lane Library. The Wisconsin Federation of Women’s Clubs has now been renamed the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Wisconsin and maintains ownership of the collection.

The collection includes over 5000 volumes of books, focusing on the history and literature of the state. Since 2017, the focus of the collection has turned to poetry. The GFWC-Wi and the Lane Library staff endeavor to create the largest collection of Wisconsin poetry.

Using the collection:

Individuals who are not Ripon College community members are also welcome to borrow books from the Wisconsin’s Own Library Collection. Follow the steps below to do so.

  1. Search for the item using the catalog. Write down the title, author, and publication date if possible. 
  2. Bring this information to your public library and ask to place an interlibrary loan request for the item. Tell your librarians that the request should be sent to Ripon College only.
  3. You can pick up and return the item at your public library.