Spring Meeting Reminder

Hello SWAG members!

Please watch your email for details about the Spring Meeting. It will be in person at the Milwaukee County Historical Society on June 1st. We will send an agenda out when it gets closer.

If you went to MAC please consider sharing any favorite sessions or ideas.

If you are interested in being a co-chair, my (Casey’s) seat is up this year. We have had some interest and will have an election at the meeting, if needed.

Hope to see you all there!

Happy May 4th / Star Wars Day!

Amy & Casey



Milwaukee Journal Building – Journal Commons

Photos courtesy of Milwaukee County Historical Society.

These photos are from a project that the Milwaukee County Historical Society has just completed with an interior designer working to redevelop the historic Milwaukee Journal Building, in downtown Milwaukee, into the Journal Commons, a new apartment complex.

They depict, from top to bottom, the exterior of the building, the newsroom, and the Journal library.

Member Projects: Social Media

Hello all!

My own organization, Milwaukee Public Library, just began a Special Collections Instagram account this year! It covers archives materials, rare books and any of our special collections materials my colleague, who runs the account, can get her hands on 😃. I added a few of the posts below but you can check it out here: https://www.instagram.com/MPLSpecialCollections/

“Happy Bicycle Day! Milwaukee has over 85 miles of bike lanes and over 145 miles of trails on the Kinnickinnic River Trail, the Beerline Trail, the Oak Leaf Trail, and the Hank Aaron State Trail. Take advantage as you head to your destination or leisurely ride through a scenic trail. Ride safely and wear a helmet!

This photograph was taken by Paul Calhoun in 1976. It is part of our CETA Arts Program Collection. CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) was a federal employment law from 1973 that helped reduce unemployment and provide experiences for people to build their skills and experiences for employment. The Common Council’s Special Committee on Public Information used CETA funds to partner with Milwaukee’s Center for Photography to capture “The Spirit of Milwaukee.”

The link to the CETA digital collection is in our bio.”
“Today we are participating in the #Archive30 challenge of highlighting an #UnusualItem in the Milwaukee Public Library Archives. We selected these wax cylinder recordings that would have been played on a phonograph in the late 19th and early 20th century. The cylinders are located in the Carl P. Dietz Papers, 1875–1956, Local History Manuscript Collection 10.

Carl Praetorius Dietz (1875-1957) was an inventor, an elected justice of the peace, a city comptroller, an insurance businessman and an elected alderman of the 10th Ward of Milwaukee. He was an avid collector of early model typewriters and had a strong interest in music including composing and publishing songs. Dietz also served as president of the Milwaukee Public Museum Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Milwaukee City Art Commission, and sat on the boards of the Milwaukee Auditorium, the Milwaukee Public Library, and the Milwaukee Art Institute.

The collection includes these wax recordings of the songs Carl P. Dietz composed and sung as well as of him whistling and speaking. There are also two copies of “The Little Homestead by the Mill” and “A Maiden by the Name of Kate.” For preservation purposes, the wax cylinders are available to view but playing the recordings is not permitted.

The link to the archival finding aid for the Carl P. Dietz Papers is in our bio.”
“Spot the library staff! 📚 April 5, 2022 is National Library Workers Day! Today we are highlighting historic photos of library technical services staff that are often behind the scenes working on book prep and collection maintenance.

These photos are from Milwaukee Public Library’s own archival collection. They are dated 1950-1967.”

This was an April fools day post – I just love the photo 😂

If your organization has a social media account I can highlight, please send it to me!

Happy Tuesday!


Midwest Archives Conference – seeking volunteers

Hi everyone,

I sent this over the listserv but sometimes I am unsure if it makes it out there. If you are a MAC member, this is a great opportunity to get involved! If you are not, this is a great organization to join. They have a very reasonable membership fee and hosts some great meetings/conferences.

Have a great week!


From: midwestarc@memberclicks-mail.net <midwestarc@memberclicks-mail.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2022 4:05 PM
Subject: MAC Education Committee seeking volunteers

Do you enjoy planning educational content? The MAC Education Committee is seeking volunteers to fill vacancies for its 2022-2025 term.   The committee seeks to provide professional development and continuing education opportunities for members through workshops and special focus sessions in conjunction with MAC meetings, as well as through the Speakers Bureau program. Members are appointed to a three-year term with an option for a second term.   We are particularly interested in volunteers from states not currently represented on the committee – Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Wisconsin– as well as those from outside academia (ie government, religious, museum, and community archives, etc).   If you’re interested please let us know by Friday, June 10th. If you have any questions, please contact Education Committee co-chairs Carrie Schwier (clschwie@indiana.edu) and Ryan Leimkuehler (rleimkue@ksu.edu).  

Midwest Archives Conference • 2598 E. Sunrise Boulevard, Suite 2104, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33304, United States

Member Projects: Norbertine TV/Radio Legacy Collection

Hello everyone! Sorry for the delayed update, I am acclimating back after a leave. Thanks to Sarah Titus for the following SWAG member project!

Courtesy St Norberts College, De Pere, WI https://digitalcommons.snc.edu/norbertinetvradio/

Sarah from St Norbert’s College sent me this link to a project she has been working on. I clipped this photo from one of the pages. It’s a grant-funded collection of materials about the history of the Norbertines and their connection to local radio/tv. Check out the link to see the whole collection : https://digitalcommons.snc.edu/norbertinetvradio/

Happy Wednesday! Please send me your fun/interesting images/projects/etc.


Spring Meeting

Hi SWAG Members! It’s time for our Spring 2022 meeting.

Here’s what you need to know:

Southeast Wisconsin Archives Group

Date: Thursday, March 31st, 2022

Time: 2pm – 4pm

Please register via the email link you received in the listserv. If you didn’t get it, please email one of us.


1. We hope you didn’t have 93 meetings today, but thanks for coming to this one.

2. Introductions and Show & Tell: Whether it’s your first SWAG meeting or your 20th, please introduce yourself and show a photo/document/artifact that you are working with, or something cool from your collection. (30-45 minutes)

3. A Virtual (history) Tour of Milwaukee Public Library’s Central Library, led by Casey Lapworth (45 minutes)

4. MAC Conference in Madison, May 5-7. Who’s going? Who needs a ride? Who has questions? Who wants to hang out in Madison? (15 minutes)

5. Share a resource. Is there anything you’ve read or seen recently that helped you? (15 minutes)

If you have questions about the meeting, please let us know. 

Thanks from the Co-Chairs,

Casey Lapworth – Milwaukee Public Library

Amy Gnadt – Wauwatosa Historical Society

Welcome to 2022!

Hello everyone! It has been a while since anything has been posted on this page – so I thought I would add this interesting and a bit terrifying looking piece of Milwaukee Public Library history! This crinkly gentleman is Billy the Bookworm in puppet format. He was sold in the Milwaukee Public Museum’s gift shop when MPM & MPL shared a building. This particular Billy is believed to be from roughly the 1940s.

Amy & I would love to start adding some “Show & Tell” kinds of things from you all. What have you been working on these last couple of, um, years! Any pandemic projects you have started and/or finished?

Thanks for catching up! Happy March, Casey & Amy

Please be on the lookout for an email coming soon regarding our spring meeting!

(Image from Milwaukee Public Library)