In 1888, Professor Stephen Babcock, Wisconsin’s pioneering dairy scientist, donated his first salary check to establish a library for the University of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. This collection of books was moved from South Hall to the newly built Agriculture Hall in 1903. The library became a department of the College of Agriculture in 1924 and moved into its own building in 1969.
The new building, Steenbock Memorial Library, was named for Dr. Harry Steenbock (1886-1967) who in the 1920’s developed an inexpensive method of enriching foods with Vitamin D. His discovery led to the eradication of rickets, the bone-deforming deficiency disease, throughout most of the world. Dr. Steenbock assigned his patents for this and other advances in human and animal nutrition to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), an independent organization for the support of research at the University of Wisconsin. Accumulated royalties from Dr. Steenbock’s patents, provided through WARF, supplied about half the funds for the library’s construction.
In 1974, Steenbock Library became a member library of the General Library System at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1990 Steenbock Memorial Library was named “Library of the Year” by the Wisconsin Library Association.
Steenbock Memorial Library is the primary resource library for the students, faculty, and research staff of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s
The library is also open to the public.
Steenbock Memorial Library is NOT associated with these locations: