Library Collections of Note

Wisconsin Water Library > Events & Programs > Library Collections of Note

The library’s mission is to collect, preserve and provide science-based resources in support of the UW Aquatic Sciences Center and the two programs it administers, the Water Resources Institute and the Sea Grant Institute. One of the ways we do this is to preserve the library collection for future as well as historical value. Several projects highlight this preservation mission.

U.S. Lake Survey Maps
In 1841, Congress created the Lake Survey within the U.S. Army Topographical Engineers, which later became part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Survey, based in Detroit, Mich., was charged with conducting a hydrographical survey of the Northern and Northwestern Lakes and preparing and publishing nautical charts and other navigation aids. The Lake Survey published its first charts in 1852. In 1882, after producing 76 charts, it had completed its Congressional mandate. The library collected all 76 Great Lakes maps, digitized them and deposited them into the UW Digital Collections.

People of the Sturgeon oral histories
People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish is a tale of the cultural and scientific history of an iconic Wisconsin fish, the lake sturgeon. Throughout the process of writing the book, the authors interviewed community activists, sturgeon spearing enthusiasts, spear and decoy craftsmen, and scientific researchers associated with the Lake Winnebago sturgeon population. Because of the cultural, social, economic, and scientific knowledge captured in these interviews, the decision was made to preserve the audio files as a collection of oral histories. This collection, People of the Sturgeon, encapsulates perspectives on lake sturgeon as they are reflected in the book.

People of the Sturgeon (2015)
Online story map of the People of the Sturgeon by Kathleen Schmitt Kline, Ron Bruch and Fred Binkowski

Epic sturgeon spearing trip (2015)
Online story map that tells the story of a librarian, a GIS guy and an undergraduate student’s journey around Lake Winnebago.