General Information


Petrovich Reading Room

Memorial Library provides world class collections, staff, facilities, and services to ensure the success of students, faculty, researchers, and staff in the humanities and social sciences. As the major research library in the state, Memorial also serves the local community and beyond.


Memorial Library South Stacks

Housing more than three million volumes on 78.5 miles of shelving, Memorial Library is the largest single collection in Wisconsin. The collection includes books, journals, dissertations, newspapers, government documents, electronic resources, and other media selected to meet the needs of the UW-Madison teaching, learning, and research communities. Memorial Library’s unique and rich collection includes materials in more than 350 languages.

History of Memorial Library

Memorial Library 1954

The first library at the University of Wisconsin was established in 1850. It was relocated several times, and by 1900 it shared quarters with the State Historical Society. Rapidly growing collections necessitated the construction of a new library, and the cornerstone of Memorial Library was laid in 1950. Construction was completed in 1953. Additions in 1974 and 1990 increased the size of the library to more than 356,000 square feet. Memorial Library is dedicated to the men and women who served in the armed forces.