Category Archives: Found in the Archives

Happy Birthday, Melvil!

The ALA Archives staff wants to say happy birthday to Melvil Dewey, who is a mere 164 years old today! Dewey might be most famous for his Dewey Decimal Classification system for library books, though many American libraries now use the Library of Congress classification system, the Dewey Decimal System is still being used today. […]

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Founding the ALA Archives, 1966-1973

Photograph of ALA Archives Stacks in 2015.

On November 11, 1966, Headquarters Librarian Ruth White wrote to Associate Executive Director Alphonse Trezza: The archives for ALA are now stored in many places. There has never been an established policy for retention and disposition of ALA and divisional correspondence and publications. Neither has there been a systematic program for collection of archival material. In […]

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“Develop the Power that is Within You”: The Harvey Dunn Poster Campaign

Sometimes in the archives you look for one thing and find something completely different, but wonderfully fascinating. A letter for the Harvey Dunn Poster Campaign is one of those great and random finds in the archives. The letter, dated June 26, 1923, was a call for librarians to hang up a poster of a man […]

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Celebrating National Bookmobile Day at the ALA Archives

A relatively new addition to National Library Week, the first National Bookmobile Day was celebrated in 2010, to recognize over one hundred years of service that bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services have contributed to bringing information, technology, and resources to all readers.[1]

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National Library Workers Day: “Libraries Work Because We Do!”

Today is National Library Workers Day, part of National Book Week. It’s a day to recognize the contributions made by library workers and all they do to keep libraries and library programs running. During the last few weeks, the ALA Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has been promoting National Library Workers Day (NLWD) by providing a […]

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Faxon’s Traveling Conference Albums

This “Traveling” Souvenir is sent to a few friends, and I hope it may give enough pleasure to offset cost of postage. (Preface, 1897 Photo Album) As described in an earlier blog post: Frederick Winthrop Faxon (1866-1936) was the early bard of the American Library Association.  Although he was not a librarian, he was memorialized as […]

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Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015): Live Long and Prosper

The ALA Archives staff found a picture of Leonard Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) in our Record Series 13/5/15.  ALA conferences have a long tradition of distinguished guests and author signings, and Nimoy was at the 1976 ALA Annual Conference, signing pictures for his newly released memoir I am Not Spock. Apparently […]

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Daniel W. Lester Library Postcard Collection

In November the ALA Archives received a very generous donation of over 6,000 library postcards from Daniel Lester, now called the Daniel W. Lester Library Postcard Collection. The postcards made a cross country journey, courtesy of Larry Nix, from Mr. Lester’s home to the ALA Archives where they are now open for researchers to access.

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When Books Went to War: Librarians in WWII

The ALA Archives is always pleased when our records are used in publishing new historical research, and today is the official release date for the book When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Manning, which includes research from records held at the ALA Archives. The book tells […]

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Ode to the Conference Program

The American Library Association Annual Conference is often a much anticipated event for librarians.  In 1876, 103 people attended the first conference in Philadelphia; last year alone over 26,000 people attended the Annual Conference in Chicago.[1]  Needless to say, the conference has grown a bit. Amongst all of the exhibits, sessions, speakers, and free swag, […]

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