Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy 135th Birthday George B. Utley

Today is the 135th anniversary of the birth of George Burwell Utley (1876-1946) who served as administrator of several library organizations including the American Library Association (ALA) from 1911 to 1920. Utley was also elected President of ALA in 1922-23. Prior to his service at ALA he was Director of the Jacksonville (FL) Public Library and after his service at ALA he served as Librarian of the Newberry Library in Chicago. During his tenure at ALA the organization was located in the Chicago Public Library, but it was temporarily relocated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. from 1917 to 1919. This was done so that Utley could serve simultaneously as Executive Secretary of ALA's Library War Service which was under the overall direction of Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam. He was at the Newberry Library from 1920 until his retirement in 1942. The envelope shown above documents Utley's move back to Chicago after his work at the Library of Congress. As a stamp collector Utley would have appreciated this piece of postal librariana.

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