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A Love Letter to the Wisconsin Historical Society Library

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

The best place on campus to pretend you don’t live in Wisconsin

Although the Wisconsin Historical Society building offers many important services to campus and the state of Wisconsin as a whole, it’s the library within the building that has my whole heart. While others flock to College Library to study and do their homework, my top choice is always the Wisconsin Historical Society (though I do find myself at Memorial Library often as well). I believe the Wisconsin Historical Society library is the best place on campus to study for three reasons:

1. The impeccable design and architecture

You simply cannot beat the ambiance created by the beautiful arches, columns, ceiling designs and even the lamps on the tables in the Historical Society Library. It reminds me of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., which makes it an inspiring place to study for a political science student like myself. Going to the Historical Society on a rainy day with a warm coffee and sitting in one of the comfy chairs to read a book or work on a paper matches the dark academia aesthetic that students who need a little extra motivation (like me) need in order to get some serious work done.

2. The quiet

This is a place where people go to grind on their homework and personally (other than the cages in the Memorial Library), this is where I accomplish the most on campus. If you are looking for a place to go with friends or a group for a project, I don’t think I would recommend the Historical Society, but if you need a quiet place to read or to cram for your exam while pretending to be the main character, this is your place. This aspect of the Historical Society has come in handy very often this semester while I have been in a literature class, because reading (sometimes dry) novels is a lot easier when you’re in a beautiful, silent room.

3. The central location on campus

I love going here because it is close to my apartment, but feels far removed from campus, unlike places like Memorial Union or College Library, while being in the exact same area of campus as both of those buildings. It is easy to grab a coffee from your favorite shop on State Street on your way there or stop at the food trucks on Library Mall on your way home after spending hours studying. Although there are other beautiful buildings on campus (special shoutout to the School of Human Ecology building, the new Chemistry building and countless others), the Historical Society is close to many dorms and apartments on campus, as well as other popular spots such as Memorial Union, East Campus Mall and State Street. 

If I haven’t convinced you yet that the Wisconsin Historical Library is the most magical place on campus, maybe that’s a good thing (so I can keep it all to myself). But in all seriousness, if you are looking for a place to get away from the normal atmosphere of the libraries on campus, I highly recommend the Historical Society. The ambiance and location make it hands-down the best place for students looking to get some work done!

Mali Kruckenberg

Wisconsin '23

Hi! My name is Mali and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double majoring in Political Science and Communication Arts. I love exploring new restaurants and stores around the Madison area and reading. My favorite Her Campus articles to read from other writers are articles detailing their experiences as college women and how they have learned and grown from their experiences.