About the Library

Mission Statement:

Henderson-Wilder Library's mission is to support Upper Iowa University's undergraduate and graduate academic programs by providing a full range of information resources and services that encourage learning, study, research, and collaboration.  The library provides access to collections, both in print and online, that meet the curricular, research, and collaborative needs of the total university.

Vision Statement:

Henderson-Wilder Library will provide library services to the total university; not just the Fayette campus, but also the domestic centers and increasingly the international centers as well.

History of the Library

From 1857-1901, UIU had only literary society and department libraries, and for a short time there was a library housed in College Hall (Alexander Dickman).  In 1900 Andrew Carnegie donated $25,000 to build a library to be named in honor of his friend, David B.  Henderson, first speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from west of the Mississippi.  Mr. Henderson had attended UIU in 1861 but did not finish his college studies as he left Upper Iowa to fight in the Civil War.  The David B. Henderson Library , a two-story building above a high basement, measuring 87 feet long by 70 feet wide, was dedicated November 11, 1902, during the inaugural celebration ceremonies for president Dr. Thomas J. Bassett.  The office of the President and the Treasurer were located on the first floor.

In 1961 a third floor stack area was added to the library. In 1969 the library was renamed Henderson-Wilder Library when the Wilder addition was added with major renovations to the old Carnegie building, increasing total square footage to 43,563. The Wilder addition was named in honor of Frank Wilder, class of 1897, and his wife Mary whose estate gifts made the completion of the addition possible.

Statue of David B. Henderson

In 1902 Iowa Governor Larrabee commissioned two statues with J. Massey Rhind to be of David B. Henderson - one bronze, the other in masonry.  The original bronze statue, located on Main Street, Clermont, IA. was used to make a copy for UIU's statue by Max-Cast Foundry, Kalona, Ia.  UIU's statue was installed in 1994.  The  masonry statue was done for the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in St. Louis, Mo. and  shipped to Des Moines, IA for the State Museum in 1905. This statue has not yet been found as it was considered an item in storage. 

Other Resources

Explanation of the Iowa Carnegie Academic Libraries

Biography of David B. Henderson