Tag Archives: Melvil Dewey

“Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

Despite the relative success and enthusiastic reception of the 1853 Librarians’ Convention, it failed in its goal to establish a permanent organization of librarian professionals. The next attempt to create a permanent association occurred again in 1876. An anonymous letter to the London publication, Academy, noted that it was strange “that no attempt should have […]

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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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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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“The Best Man in America is a Woman”: Katharine L. Sharp and the First “Lady Librarians”

For an educated woman at the turn of the century, there were few options for a intellectually satisfying career, as Katharine L. Sharp discovered as a newly minted college graduate in 1885. She taught foreign languages at a high school in Illinois for two years, but then she took a position as Assistant Librarian at […]

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