Monday, November 15, 2010

Addison Van Name, Yale Librarian

Addison Van Name (1835-1922) was born 175 years ago today. Happy birthday Addison. Van Name served as Librarian of Yale University from 1865 to 1905, a forty year period. He built up the library's collection from 44,500 volumes to almost a half a million items.  He played a major role in the construction of two library buildings at Yale. Van Name also attended the meeting of librarians in Philadelphia in 1876 at which the American Library Association was founded. He played an active role in ALA and served on its Council for several years. Van Name is listed in the Dictionary of American Library Biography (Libraries Unlimited, 1978). Yale University Library has little about its previous librarians or its heritage on its website which is regretful. There is a mention of the Chittenden Library (now Chittenden Hall) which Van Name helped design on the University's website but there is no indication of Van Name's role in building what was an extraordinary library at the time. An article appeared in Library Journal from the Yale Alumni Weekly about his death in 1922 which recounts his contribution to Yale University and its library. 

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