Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Justin Winsor, First President of ALA

Today is the 180th anniversary of the birth of Justin Winsor (1831-1897), President of the American Library Association from its founding in 1876 until 1885 and later in 1897. Although not trained in librarianship when he became Superintendent of the Boston Public Library in 1868, he became the foremost American librarian of his time. He left the Boston Public Library in 1877 to become Librarian of Harvard College where he served until his death in 1897.  The postal card above was signed by Winsor on January 3, 1876, 135 years ago tomorrow.  It is the acknowledgement of a gift of two copies of a pamphlet. ALA's Library History Round Table awards the Justin Winsor Prize for Library History Essay in Winsor's honor. A listing of ALA's past presidents can be found HERE.

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