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Beach, Harlan Page (04 April 1854–04 March 1933), missionary, missions librarian, and professor of missions, was born in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Wickliff Beach and Mary Angeline Walkley, farmers. He prepared for college at Phillips Andover Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1878. He taught at Phillips Andover Academy for two years, then entered Andover Theological Seminary, graduating (B.D.) in 1883. His father opposed his decision to be a missionary, but his mother encouraged him. He married Lucy Lucretia Ward on 29 June 1883 and was ordained to the Congregational ministry on 19 July 1883; later in the same year they were sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to serve in North China. After language study he was on the staff of a high school and theological seminary at Tung-chau until December 1889, when his wife’s ill health caused their return to the United States....

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Bellini, Carlo (1735– June 1804), librarian and teacher, was born in Florence, Italy, the son of Leone (or Leon) Girolamo Bellini, a tradesman. His mother’s name is not known, and details of his early life are sketchy. He taught in the Santa Maria School in Florence, frequented the best Florentine intellectual circles, and was a close friend of ...

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Burr, George Lincoln (30 January 1857–27 June 1938), librarian, historian, and educator, was born in Oramel, New York, the son of William Josiah Burr, a physician, and Jane Lincoln. Educated in the public schools of Newark Valley and the Cortland Academy, Burr worked as a printer to pay for his schooling. In 1877 he entered Cornell University, where he received his A.B. four years later. Upon graduation, thanks to the friendship shown by Cornell president ...

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Butler, Lee Pierce (19 December 1884–29 March 1953), professor and rare book curator, was born in Clarendon Hills, Illinois, the son of John Pierce Butler (a.k.a. Wallace due his desire to serve twice in the Civil War), a real estate agent, farm manager, and railroad employee, and Evaline (“Eva”) Content Whipple, an occasional U.S. postal mistress. Butler spent his early childhood on “Blythewood,” a 460-acre farm outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts, that was designed by F. L. Olmsted & Company and owned by Wirt D. Walker, a Chicago attorney. Infantile paralysis left Butler with scoliosis and a slight lameness, which was still apparent in his adult life; his early childhood was also marked by a serious case of scarlet fever and catarrh that left him almost completely deaf. He nevertheless earned a Ph.B. in 1906 and an M.A. in Latin in 1910 from Dickinson College. Butler taught science and mathematics briefly at Locust Dale Academy in Virginia during the fall of 1906. He started at Union Theological Seminary but then transferred to divinity school at Hartford Theological Seminary to study early medieval church history, and he received a B.D. in 1910 and a Ph.D. in 1912. After difficult pastorates as a deacon in the Episcopal church in Indianapolis, Indiana, as well as DeSoto and Ironton, Missouri, he moved back to his parents’ home in Clarendon Hills in late 1912....

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Davis, Raymond Cazallis (23 June 1836–10 June 1919), university librarian and pioneering teacher of bibliography, was born in Cushing, Maine, the son of George Davis, a sea captain, and Katherine (or Katharine) Young. From his early years he demonstrated an interest in reading and literature. A two-year journey with his father, 1849–1851, was to result in his only published book, ...

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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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Galbreath, Charles Burleigh (25 February 1858–23 February 1934), librarian, historian, and teacher, was born on a farm in Columbiana County, Ohio, near the town of Leetonia, the son of Edward Paxson Galbreath and Jane Minerva Shaw. His parents were Quakers of Scotch-Irish heritage who moved to Ohio from North Carolina due to their antislavery stand. They instilled in their son an appreciation and interest in the antislavery cause that probably influenced his research on ...

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Hamlin, Talbot Faulkner (16 June 1889–07 October 1956), architect, professor, and librarian, was born in New York City, the son of Alfred Dwight Foster Hamlin, a professor of architecture at Columbia University, and Minnie Florence Marston. He began his writing career at the age of twelve with a translation from the Latin of Pliny’s letter describing his Laurentine villa. He received a B.A. in classics and English at Amherst College (1910), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. From there he proceeded to Columbia School of Architecture, where he received a B.Arch. in 1914. That same year he began to work as a draughtsman in the New York architectural firm of Murphy and Dana. In 1916 he married Hilda B. Edwards; they had three sons. That year he published his first book, ...

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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 ...

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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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Shera, Jesse Hauk (08 December 1903–08 March 1982), librarian, educator, and author, was born in Oxford, Ohio, the son of Charles Hypes Shera, a dairyman, and Jesse Hauk. Shera grew up in Oxford, attending William McGuffey High School. He was a member of the debating team, as well as a drummer, a cheerleader, and the 1921 senior class president. Although he was interested in a career in chemistry, his poor eyesight prevented him from pursuing this interest. Remaining in Oxford, he graduated with honors from Miami University in 1925 with an A.B. in English. Shera earned tuition by selling typewriters from door to door and working at a local soda fountain. From Miami he went to Yale University, where he graduated in 1927 with a master’s degree in English literature....