Saturday, July 9, 2011

Gertrude Bascom Darwin, Librarian General

The elected officer in charge of the Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C. has the title of Librarian General. In my collection of postal librariana I have an envelope with an enclosed letter mailed by Gertrude Bascom Darwin, DAR Librarian General in 1897 and 1898, on Dec. 22, 1897 to Mrs. Keller Anderson in Memphis, Tennessee.  Basically, the letter is an overdue notice for some issues of the American Magazine loaned to the Tennessee Centennial Exhibition earlier that year. Darwin explains at some length the reasons for why the issues should be returned soon. Including, "It takes some time to get the books nicely bound and catalogued, you know."  She ends on an upbeat note, " What a glorious time you must have had during the exposition! I felt so badly that I could not go." A little Internet sleuthing reveals that Gertrude Bascom Darwin, No. 168 of the Charter members of the DAR, graduated from Vassar College in 1878 and was married to Charles Carlyle Darwin, Librarian of the United States Geological Survey. Darwin was also active in the Aurora, West Virginia Library Association where she served as President in 1896-1898. More about the DAR Library which was founded in 1896 can be found HERE.

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