Spofford, Ainsworth Rand

Spofford, Ainsworth Rand

(spŏf`ərd), 1825–1908, librarian of Congress of the United States, b. Belknap co., N.H. In 1861 he became chief assistant librarian of Congress and was appointed librarian by President Lincoln in 1864. He held the office until 1897, when he again became chief assistant librarian. Spofford was responsible for much of the growth and development of the library. He wrote many periodical articles on books and libraries and published or edited a number of books, including A Book for All Readers (3d ed. 1909), The Library of Choice Literature (10 vol., 1888); and the annual American Almanac (1878–89).
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Spofford, Ainsworth Rand

(1825–1908) librarian; born in Gilmanton, N.H. During his tenure as Librarian of Congress (1865–97), he initiated legislation and transformed the Library of Congress from the library of the legislature to the nation's library.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.