Putnam, Herbert

Putnam, Herbert,

1861–1955, American librarian, b. New York City; son of George P. PutnamPutnam, George Palmer,
1814–72, American publisher, b. Brunswick, Maine; grandnephew of Israel Putnam. A member of the New York City bookselling firm of Wiley and Putnam, he established a branch in London in 1841. He later returned to New York to found (1848) G. P.
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. He served as librarian at the Minneapolis Athenaeum (1884–87) and of the Minneapolis Public Library (1887–91). In 1895, after practicing law in Boston, Putnam became librarian of the Boston Public Library, and in 1899 he began his 40 years of service as librarian of Congress. He built the collection of the Library of CongressLibrary of Congress,
national library of the United States, Washington, D.C., est. 1800. It occcupies three buildings on Capitol Hill: The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897), the John Adams Building (1938), and the James Madison Building (1981).
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 into one of the finest in the world, reorganizing and introducing important procedures and establishing a classification system that has come into wide use. Putnam was twice the president of the American Library Association (1898 and 1904).


See Essays Offered to Herbert Putnam by His Colleagues and Friends (1929).

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Putnam, Herbert

(1861–1955) librarian; born in New York City. As Librarian of Congress (1899–1939), he instituted the Library of Congress classification scheme and preprinted index cards.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.