Friday, February 6, 2009

George Edwin Wire (1859-1936)

In 1906 at the Narragansett Pier (Rhode Island) Conference of the American Library Association, George Edwin Wire (1859-1936) along with A. J. Small and Franklin O. Poole founded the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). Today (February 6, 2009) is the 150th anniversary of Wire's birth.

Wire's varied library career is described in the Dictionary of American Library Biography by William K. Beatty. Wire starter his career as a library assistant and later the first paid librarian at the Northwestern University Library in Evanston, Illinois. He left Northwestern to attend Melvil Dewey's School of Library Economny at Columbia College in New York City from 1887-1889. He was librarian of the Medical Department of the Newberry Library in Chicago from 1890 to 1895. In 1898 he became librarian of the Worcester County Law Library in Worcester, Massachusetts. From 1904 to 1909 he was director of the Free Public Library of Worcester. He was author of How to Start a Public Library which was published by the American Library Association in 1900 and 1902.

The history of the American Association of Law Libraries can be found here. Wire's papers are located at the American Library Association Archives at the University of Illinois. The envelope above was mailed in 1906 and included the Final Announcement of the Narragansett Pier Conference of the American Library Association.

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