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Avery, Samuel Putnam (17 March 1822–11 August 1904), wood engraver, art dealer, and rare book and print collector, was born in New York City, the son of Samuel Avery and Hannah Parke. His father, variously listed as a shoe maker and a leather merchant, died of cholera in 1832. Through an apprenticeship in a bank-note company, Avery was able to learn the essentials of the wood-engraving trade. Officially recorded as an engraver in the 1842 New York City directory, he earned a living by engraving labels and making handbills for local merchants. At the same time he began a long involvement with the publishing trade, working for periodicals such as ...

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Brown, John Carter (28 August 1797–10 June 1874), book collector and philanthropist, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of Nicholas Brown, a merchant and philanthropist, and Ann Carter, daughter of John Carter, the second printer of Providence. In 1816 he received an A.B. from Brown University, named for his father, and immediately joined the family mercantile firm, Brown & Ives. Although he was involved in several aspects of the shipping business and became a partner in 1832, he found time to travel extensively in Europe and the United States and to pursue his interests in historical subjects and books. Accustomed from childhood to a growing family library, he and his elder brother, Nicholas, “were predisposed to infection with the epidemic Bibliomania” and belonged to “a small group of American gentlemen of means who found in the London and Continental bookshops a reason for a European holiday” (Winship, pp. 9, 12). He resided in Europe from 1823 to 1826 and bought many books, most of which he shipped back to Brown University as gifts. The university made him a trustee in 1828 and a fellow in 1842. He continued to make donations to the university and to be involved in its affairs throughout his life....

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Cushing, Harvey Williams (08 April 1869–07 October 1939), neurosurgeon, medical historian, and bibliophile, was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in the Western Reserve of Connecticut, the son of Henry Kirke Cushing, a physician, and Betsey Maria Williams. In addition to his father, Cushing’s paternal grandfather, great grandfather, and great-great grandfather were all physicians in general practice. Cushing’s childhood was a happy and full one with strong parental role models. He found opportunities at home to consort, through books, with the world of ideas, and to explore history. His early education was in the public schools of Cleveland and from his mother, who taught him French and introduced him to general literature and poetry. In 1887 Cushing entered Yale University, where he spent four happy years, achieving election to Scroll and Key (a matter of considerable importance to him) and securing the short-stop position on the Yale freshman baseball team and, later, membership on the varsity nine....

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Day, F. Holland (23 July 1864–06 November 1933), publisher, photographer, and bibliophile, was born Fred Holland Day in Norwood, Massachusetts, the son of Lewis Day, an industrialist, and Anna Smith. The only child of wealthy parents, young Day was educated largely by private tutors. The family split their time between their Norwood house and an apartment in Boston, at that time considered the Athens of America. At fifteen Day accompanied his mother to Denver, where she recuperated from a lung disease. It was in Denver that he made his first sustained contact with a large colony of Chinese, and their art and material culture made a lasting impact on him. He began to draw with Chinese inks and brushes and purchased many Chinese artifacts; he remained fascinated by Oriental culture to his dying day. This fascination was abetted by the world-class Oriental collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts....

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Deinard, Ephraim (11 May 1846–24 June 1930), Hebrew author, bibliographer, and bookdealer, was born in Shossmaken, Courland, Russia, the son of Jekuthiel Gerson Deinard and Leah Cohen. In addition to attending traditional schools of Jewish learning, he also studied secular subjects with private tutors. By age eighteen he was contributing articles on current issues to the Hebrew weekly ...

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Louis Leonard Tucker

Dowse, Thomas (28 December 1772–04 November 1856), bibliophile, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Eleazer Dowse, a tanner and leather dresser, and Mehitable Brenthall. The family’s home was destroyed by fire when the British burned Charlestown during the battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. The Dowses took up temporary residence in Holliston, then resettled in Sherborn, Massachusetts, where Eleazar Dowse renewed his trade. At age six Thomas was injured in a fall from an apple tree; the injury, coupled with a later bout with rheumatic fever, left him lame for life. Unable to participate in vigorous physical activities, the sickly child turned to books for “occupation and amusement.” He became an omnivorous reader, spending his every cent on books. He came to idolize Sir Walter Scott, the celebrated Scottish poet and novelist, because he also had suffered from lameness. Dowse later said that “lameness drove us both to books—him to making them, and me to reading them.” Dowse’s extensive reading compensated for a scant formal education. Like ...

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Draper, Lyman Copeland (04 September 1815–26 August 1891), historical collector and writer, was born in Erie County, New York, the son of Luke Draper, a grocer and farmer, and Harriet Hoisington. From 1834 to 1836 he studied at Granville College in Ohio (later Denison University), where he became an ardent Baptist and Democrat, and deepened his growing interest in western history. He completed his formal education at the Hudson River Seminary near Albany, New York, in 1836–1837....

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Duyckinck, Evert Augustus (23 November 1816–13 August 1878), editor, author, and bibliophile, was born in New York City, the son of Evert Duyckinck, a wealthy publisher and book collector, and Harriet June. He graduated from Columbia College in 1835. He either wrote or cowrote the only issue of ...

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Fiske, Daniel Willard (11 November 1831–17 September 1904), librarian and book collector, was born in Ellisburg, New York, the son of Daniel Haven Fiske and Caroline Willard. Called “Willard” from childhood, he learned to read at age three, and during the 1840 presidential campaign the youngster read political news to village residents. Fiske attended Cazenovia Seminary and Hamilton College in New York State but in 1850 left to study Scandinavian languages at the University of Uppsala. During that time he served as a European correspondent for several American periodicals. In 1852 he returned to New York City to become first assistant librarian at the Astor Library. There he honed strongly held beliefs that libraries ought to develop circulating collections for the public and large reference collections for scholarly research; except for works of “bare-faced immorality,” he argued, no books should ever be rejected from reference collections....

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Folger, Emily Jordan (15 May 1858–21 February 1936), student and collector of Shakespeareana, was born in Ironton, Ohio, the daughter of Augusta Woodbury Ricker and Edward Jordan, a newspaper editor, lawyer, and solicitor of the U.S. Treasury under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson...

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Folger, Henry Clay (18 June 1857–11 June 1930), industrialist, book collector, and philanthropist, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Clay Folger, a dealer in wholesale millinery, and Eliza Jane Clark. After attending Brooklyn’s Adelphi Academy on a scholarship, Folger entered Amherst College. When his father’s business failed during his junior year, Folger briefly attended the City University of New York. He returned to Amherst after being guaranteed the necessary funds by patrons who included Charles M. Pratt, an oil merchant and the father of Folger’s roommate. In March of his senior year Folger attended a lecture delivered by the aged poet and essayist ...

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Gardiner, Leon (25 November 1892–05 March 1945), African-American bibliophile, researcher, and photographer, was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the son of Jacob Gardiner and Martha (maiden name unknown). In 1902 he and his family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From childhood he was interested in reading, cross-country running, hiking, camping, and bicycling. Later he developed an interest in music, choir singing, and photography. Blatant racial discrimination kept him from attending the photography school of his choice in Philadelphia, to his great disappointment. In the very early 1900s he began to collect material of various kinds concerning the achievements of blacks, black institutions, and lynchings of blacks....

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Hoe, Robert (10 March 1839–22 September 1909), manufacturer and bibliophile, was born in New York City, the son of Robert Hoe, a manufacturer, and Thyrza (or Thirza) Mead. He was educated at the Quackenbush School in New York and by private tutors.

About 1856 Hoe entered the family business, R. M. Hoe & Company of New York, makers of printing presses, industrial saws, and other machines to order. The firm was known worldwide for the “Hoe Type Revolving Machine,” a rotary printing press that was the invention of Hoe’s uncle, ...

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Huntington, Henry Edwards (27 February 1850–23 May 1927), urban developer, railroad executive, and book and art collector, was born in Oneonta, New York, the son of Solon Huntington, a merchant, land speculator, and farmer, and Harriet Saunders. His father was conservative by nature, and it was his uncle, railway magnate ...

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Livermore, George (10 July 1809–30 August 1865), merchant, book collector, and supporter of libraries, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Deacon Nathaniel Livermore and Elizabeth Gleason. He attended public and private schools at Cambridgeport until the age of fourteen. He abandoned the idea of college on health grounds, but he did attend Deerfield Academy in 1827–1828. After employment in the retail business of his older brothers, a stint as a salesman in a dry-goods store in Waltham from 1829 to 1831, and two subsequent years of running that business on his own account, he established a shoe and leather business in 1834. Then in 1838 he became a wool merchant, in partnership with his older brother Isaac. Livermore later wrote to ...

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Logan, James (20 October 1674–31 October 1751), provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn's secretary in America, provincial councilor, scholar, and William Penn’s secretary in America, was born in Lurgan, County Armaugh, Ireland, the son of Scottish Quakers Patrick Logan, a minister and teacher, and Isabel Hume. His father, who earned an A.M. from Edinburgh University, taught him Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and at age thirteen he was apprenticed to Edward Webb, a Quaker linen draper in Dublin. Logan returned to Lurgan six months later, then moved with his family to Bristol when his father was appointed master of the Friar Meetinghouse School. He replaced his father in this position in 1693 and later earned the respect of William Penn when the colonial proprietor served on the school’s supervisory board. Penn invited Logan to be his secretary in Pennsylvania, and he was with the Penn family aboard the ...

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Mackenzie, William (30 July 1758–23 July 1828), bibliophile and book collector, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Kenneth Mackenzie and Mary Thomas, whose family came from Barbados. William Mackenzie was admitted as a student to the Philadelphia Academy in 1766 by a Captain Morrell, implying that Mackenzie’s father may have died before this time. After leaving the academy, Mackenzie entered the offices of John Ross, one of the city’s most prominent shipping merchants at the time. There he prospered, gaining an extensive knowledge of accounting and mercantile affairs....

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Moorland, Jesse Edward (10 September 1863–30 April 1940), book collector and religious leader, was born in Coldwater, Ohio, the son of William Edward Mooreland ( sic), a farmer, and his wife Nancy Jane Moore, members of a black family that had been free for several generations. Raised by his maternal grandparents because of his parents’ early deaths, Moorland, an only child, attended Northwestern Normal University in Ada, Ohio, and the theological department of Howard University. In 1886 he married Lucy Corbin Woodson; they had no children. Moorland was ordained to the ministry in the Congregational church in 1891, and became the organizing pastor of a church in South Boston, Virginia, as well as secretary of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Washington, D.C. From 1893 to 1896 he was minister of Howard Chapel, Nashville, Tennessee, and then went to Mt. Zion Congregational Church in Cleveland, Ohio....

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Nash, John Henry (12 March 1871–24 May 1947), printer, bibliophile, and typographer, was born in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Marvin Nash, a mechanical engineer, and Catherine Cain. Though withdrawn from public school at age sixteen to begin his practical education by learning his father’s trade, Nash insisted on becoming a printer. He began his career in 1888 with an apprenticeship at James Murray and Company, a Toronto printing firm. Despite his thorough training and seeming determination to become a printer, Nash left the business after a few years and embarked on the life of a bicycle racer. A major fad in the 1890s, bicycle racing offered the opportunity for wealth and fame, and both appealed to him. He traveled the racing circuit from around 1890 to 1892, when his passion for the sport waned and he decided to go back to printing. Nash returned to Toronto to work for Brough and Caswell and then for Milne-Burgham Company, where he remained until 1894. In the winter of 1894 he left Toronto to work for App-Stotts in Denver, Colorado; he stayed there a mere four months, after which he relocated to San Francisco....

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Ray, Gordon Norton (08 September 1915–15 December 1986), educator, foundation executive, and book collector, was born in New York City, the only child of Jesse Gordon Ray, who was then the New York representative of an Indiana limestone company, and Jessie Norton. His father’s business soon took the family to Chicago, where Ray spent his childhood. In 1932, when Ray graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, his parents moved to Bloomington, Indiana (having started their own limestone company there in 1927 on land owned by his mother’s family), and he enrolled in Indiana University. His studies there brought him membership in three honorary societies and both A.B. and A.M. degrees in French literature in 1936. Moving to Harvard University for graduate school, he took another A.M. (1938) and then completed a Ph.D. dissertation, “Thackeray and France,” in 1940. During the course of this work, he became famous among graduate students throughout the country when he was selected as editor of William Makepeace Thackeray’s letters by the Thackeray heirs. During the next two and a half years (while teaching at Harvard in 1940–1941 and holding two Guggenheim Fellowships from July 1941 through November 1942), he completed his editing of the letters—just before he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy on 1 December 1942. His forty months of naval service (to 23 March 1946), in which he attained the rank of lieutenant and earned seven battle stars and a presidential unit citation, included two and a half years as radar officer in the Pacific aboard the aircraft carriers ...