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Edmands, Johnlocked

(01 February 1820–17 October 1915)
  • Martin J. Manning


Edmands, John (01 February 1820–17 October 1915), librarian, was born in Framingham, Massachusetts, the son of Jonathan Edmands and Lucy Nourse, farmers. Edmands attended a district school six months of the year until he was sixteen and then began a five-year apprenticeship to a carpenter. He entered Phillips Academy at Andover in 1841 and graduated in 1843, when he entered Yale College. In 1845–1846 Edmands, a junior, was assistant librarian of one of the three college literary societies, the Brothers in Unity. The literary societies maintained circulating libraries to supplement the rather limited collection in the college library. These were installed in wings near the college library. In return, the society libraries agreed to faculty supervision. A society librarian was an honorary position held by a senior who was elected by the members; each librarian had assistants from the lower classes. One of a society librarian’s duties was to help the members research debates and theses. After their move to a new library building, the three society librarians compiled up-to-date catalogs of their holdings. When Edmands was a junior, he compiled, with Samuel Richards, Yale’s first dictionary catalog under the supervision of Yale librarian Edward C. Herrick. The catalog was published without author credit in April 1846. This edition was larger and better organized than the Brothers’ previous catalog (1838)....

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