History

  • What’s in the Name?
    The library founder’s last name was Carpenter. So why is the library called Willard Library?
  • College, or Library?
    Find out how a dream for a college turned into the reality of today’s library.
  • Letter to the Library Trustees from Willard Carpenter
    Perhaps nothing explains the whys and wherefores, and the very essence of Willard Library itself, better than the letter Willard Carpenter sent to the first trustees of the Library on a summer day more than a century and a quarter ago.
  • A Library Begins
    The first few years of turning concept into reality were not without their challenges, but Willard Carpenter was determined to see the project well begun.
  • Speaking Ill of the Dead?
    “Mr. Carpenter was not without his enemies,” a local newspaper reported in his obituary. What were people saying, and why?
  • Bring in the Books
    From where did the books come to fill a library’s shelves in the late 1800s? Find out how they got there, what sort of books they were, and who gathered for the celebration that opened the library.
  • A Timeline of Willard Library
    Take a fascinating stroll through the history of an Evansville, Indiana, icon; learn about the people and events that have shaped Willard Library.

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