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Ahern, Mary Eileen (01 October 1860–22 May 1938), librarian and editor, was born on a farm southwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, to William Ahern, a farmer, and Mary O’Neill, both Irish immigrants. In 1870 the family left the farm for Spencer, Indiana, where Mary Eileen graduated from high school in 1878. Following her graduation from Central Normal College in Danville, Indiana, in 1881, she worked as a teacher in the public schools of Bloomfield, Spencer, and Peru, Indiana, for eight years....

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Andrews, Regina (21 May 1901–05 February 1993), librarian and dramatist, was born Regina M. Anderson in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, Illinois, to Margaret Simons Anderson, a clubwoman and ceramics artist, and William Grant Anderson, an attorney. Regina grew up in an upper-middle-class family because of her father’s success as a defense attorney, which earned him the nickname “Habeas Corpus.” Her views about race were no doubt shaped by her father’s fighting for racial justice for his clients and his collaboration with the antilynching advocate ...

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Bostwick, Arthur Elmore (08 March 1860–13 February 1942), editor and librarian, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, the son of David Elmore Bostwick, a physician, and Adelaide McKinley. Bostwick took advantage of the cultural assets in his hometown, reading periodicals from a neighbor’s private library, studying romance and classical languages, participating in music ensembles, and attending the Episcopal church where his mother was organist. His innate intellectual abilities were thus stimulated, laying the foundation for an active life of the mind. He attended Yale College, won the first Silliman Fellowship in physical science, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a B.A. in 1881 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1883. Aspiring to a college professorship, he declined an appointment as a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University in favor of a temporary position at Yale but, when a permanent post was not forthcoming, he moved to Montclair, New Jersey, where he taught high school from 1884 to 1886. In 1885 Bostwick married Lucy Sawyer, with whom he had three children....

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Coggeshall, William Turner (06 September 1824–02 August 1867), journalist, state librarian, and diplomat, was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, the son of William C. Coggeshall, a coachsmith, and Eliza Grotz. At the age of eighteen he headed west and settled in Akron, Ohio. There he launched his career by starting the ...

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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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Dexter, Franklin Bowditch (11 September 1842–13 August 1920), educator, librarian, and historian, was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, the son of Rodolphus Williams Dexter, a businessman, and Mary Hathaway Taber. He attended the Williston Seminary in preparation for Yale College, in New Haven, Connecticut, from which he graduated with an A.B. in 1861. He received an A.M. in 1864 and a Litt.D. in 1902. He taught Greek at the Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven from 1861 to 1863 before returning to work at Yale....

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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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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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Engel, Carl (21 July 1883–06 May 1944), composer, editor, and librarian, was born in Paris, France, the son of German parents Joseph C. Engel and Gertrude Seeger. Engel studied music, philosophy, and psychology at the Universities of Strasbourg and Munich. His musical training included individual instruction on the violin and piano and composition with Ludwig Thuille. The Engel family immigrated to the United States in 1905, settling in New York City. Engel quickly affiliated with the city’s young composers and musicians interested in new music and, later, their New Music Society of America, a group dedicated to the performance of American works....

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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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Folsom, Charles (24 December 1794–08 November 1872), librarian and editor, was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, the son of James Folsom and Sarah Gilman (occupations unknown). After preparation at Phillips Exeter Academy, Folsom entered Harvard College as a sophomore in 1810. He taught school at Sudbury during winter vacations and graduated from Harvard in 1813. He then taught at the academy in Hallowell, Maine, and in the fall of 1814 returned to Cambridge to study divinity. After giving that up, he made arrangements to study medicine, but instead, on the recommendation of Harvard president John T. Kirkland, sailed in 1816 to the Mediterranean on the 74-gun ship of the line ...

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Foss, Sam Walter (19 June 1858–26 February 1911), poet and librarian, was born in Candia, New Hampshire, the son of Dyer Foss and Polly Hardy, farmers. Foss’s mother died when he was four. He attended public or “common” schools, graduating from Portsmouth High School in 1877. He then matriculated at New Hampshire Conference Seminary and Female College in Tilton, which later became Tilton Academy, for one year. There he converted to Methodist Episcopalianism and earned a scholarship to attend Brown University. Because he worked to support himself, he was prevented from deep involvement in college life; nevertheless, he was elected class poet and a member of the ...

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Griswold, William McCrillis (09 October 1853–03 August 1899), librarian, bibliographer, and indexer, was born in Bangor, Maine, the son of Rufus Wilmot Griswold, a minister, editor, and writer, and Harriet Stanley McCrillis. Griswold was raised in Bangor, graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1871, and attended Harvard University from 1871 to 1875. After graduating from Harvard he traveled in Europe for several years. In 1882 he married Anne Deering Merrill, with whom he had four children....

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Isham, Ralph Heyward (02 July 1890–13 June 1955), literary collector, was born in New York City, the son of Henry Heyward Isham, a banker and financier, and Juliet Calhoun Marsh. Isham attended Cornell and Yale Universities, where his interest in eighteenth-century literature was first aroused. He then pursued a variety of activities, ranging from journalism to big-game shooting in Malaya and Mexico. He also began his collection of antiquarian books....

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Morgan, Dale Lowell (18 December 1914–30 March 1971), historian, editor, and bibliographer, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of James Lowell Morgan, an office machine salesman, and Emily May Holmes, a schoolteacher. Morgan’s father died when he was six years old, and the burden of caring for the family of four children fell on his mother, who taught in the Salt Lake City public schools. Morgan was a gifted student, but his contracting spinal meningitis at age fourteen seriously changed his life; he was left totally deaf....

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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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Perkins, Frederic Beecher (27 September 1828–27 January 1899), editor, author, and librarian, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Clap Perkins, a lawyer, and Mary Foote Beecher. He entered Yale with the class of 1850 but left in 1848 to study law in his father’s Hartford office. He eventually graduated from Connecticut Normal School in 1852, and Yale conferred a master of arts degree on him in 1860 and listed him in its biographical records for the class of 1850....

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Plummer, Mary Wright (08 March 1856–21 September 1916), library educator and poet, was born in Richmond, Indiana, the daughter of Jonathan Wright Plummer, a businessman, and Hannah Bullard. She attended the Friends Academy, a Quaker school in Richmond, until 1873 when the family moved to Chicago, where her father was employed as a druggist. Except for a year spent at Wellesley College (1881–1882), she remained in Chicago with her family until 1887. In that year she left to attend the beginning class of the first library school in the United States, the School of Library Economy, organized by ...

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Sellers, Charles Coleman (16 March 1903–31 January 1980), biographer and librarian, was born in the Philadelphia suburb of Overbrook, Pennsylvania, the son of Horace Wells Sellers, an engineer and architect who worked on the restoration of Independence Hall in the 1920s, and Cora Wells, Horace Sellers's first cousin. Charles Sellers earned a B.A. from Haverford College in 1925 and an M.A. in American history from Harvard in 1926. Sellers's early biographical writings focused on atypical subjects, such as the eloquent, idiosyncratic nineteenth-century American evangelist ...

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Sibley, John Langdon (29 December 1804–09 December 1885), librarian and historian, was born in Union, Maine, the son of Jonathan Sibley, a physician, and Persis Morse. His father’s medical practice was more “extensive than gainful.” Sibley was educated at home, except for two years (1819–1821) at Phillips Exeter Academy, where he was provided free tuition and living expenses. He graduated from Harvard College in the class of 1825, having supported himself in college through a series of jobs, including work in the library. Following graduation he was appointed assistant librarian to librarian ...