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Root, Azariah Smithlocked

(03 February 1862–02 October 1927)
  • John Mark Tucker


Root, Azariah Smith (03 February 1862–02 October 1927), librarian and professor of bibliography, was born in Middlefield, Massachusetts, the son of Solomon Francis Root, the proprietor of a general store, and Anna Smith. Root’s family traditions emphasized civic responsibility, Baptist and Congregational convictions, antislavery, higher education, and equal rights for men and women. These ideals influenced Root’s choice of Oberlin College, which had admitted African Americans as early as 1835 and had achieved a national reputation as the nation’s first coeducational college and a hotbed of abolitionist sentiment. Root earned an A.B. and an A.M. at Oberlin (1884, 1887), studied law at Boston University (1884–1885) and Harvard University (1886–1887), and studied analytical bibliography and the history of printing at the University of Göttingen (1898–1899). In 1887 he married a college classmate, Anna Mayo Metcalf; they had two children....

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