|Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Collection
The Room | A Sample of Titles | Library Catalog of Rarities
The Milwaukee Public Library’s rarities collection is housed in the Richard E and Lucile Krug Rare Books Room at the Central library. This beautiful space includes a temperature and humidity controlled book stack area and a reception area. The room was dedicated in 2001 in honor of Richard Krug, city librarian from 1941 to 1975 and his wife, Lucile Krug, whose generosity funded the construction of the room and continues to fund materials and equipment purchases and an educational series of programs. The rare books collection, held in trust for the citizens of Milwaukee, includes over 6,000 items of special value, such as signed first editions, materials published before 1868, unique materials such as miniature books, and rare items of local historical and cultural significance.
You are invited to come to the Central Library to view these treasures. Simply identify the item(s) you’d like to view and then phone the Art, Music & Recreation department at 286-3071 for information on getting access to the materials. The librarians and the rare books are waiting for your call!
Included in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books Collection are these special treasures:
The impressive oversized Autograph Book, containing 2,283 autographs and appended sayings or drawings of leading politicians, artists and other notables from turn-of-the-19th century America.
One of the few complete sets of John James Audubon’s “Birds of America”
An Ethiopian magic scroll dating to around 1890
Praeceptorium divinae legis sive Expositio decalogi written by Johannes Nider in 1479, the oldest book in the collection.
The famous Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published in 1499 and considered to be one of the most beautiful printed books of the Renaissance.
Slavery in the United States; a narrative of the life and adventures of Charles Ball, a black man, who lived forty years in Maryland, South Carolina and Georgia, as a slave a slave narrative written in 1836.
The voices of friends concerning John Plankinton, Milwaukee's foremost citizen, father of the west side a beautiful hand-illuminated and lettered memorial book by Milwaukee artist Susan Frackelton.
A collection of increasingly popular artist’s books (works of art in the form of books).
The titles above are only a sampling of the over 6,000 items available in the Richard E. and Lucile Krug Rare Books collection at the Central Library. A complete list of rarities materials is available in the library's catalog.