Rutgers College. Office of the University Librarian (George A. Osborn)

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The Rutgers library was originally established as a collection of theology books for what was mainly a theological institution. By 1827, the library, modest when compared to the libraries of the Peithossophian and Philoclean literary societies, filled a small room in the old Queen's Building. Irving S. Upson, Osborn's predecessor as Rutgers Librarian, became the first nonfaculty librarian in 1884. In 1890, the library held 26,000 volumes, and by 1903, when it moved into a new building, the Voorhees Library, it held 46,000 books.

After the move, George A. Osborn, Upson's assistant since 1897, took over as acting librarian in 1904, and was appointed librarian in 1907. In 1916, the library held 85,000 volumes; in 1919, 100,000 volumes; and in 1925, 128,000 volumes. The Voorhees Library was expanded in 1926, but by the time of a federal survey of the university in 1927, it was obvious that the library still desperately needed more space.

The library's relationships with the libraries of other Rutgers colleges is not clearly defined in these records. However, some information about these bureaucratic ties can be gleaned from the files.

  • 1874: August 18, George Augustus Osborn is born in Jersey City, NJ
  • 1893: Osborn, as a freshman, starts working in the library as a student assistant (member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity)
  • 1897: Osborn receives his B.Sc., in chemistry, from Rutgers College and becomes assistant in charge of the library
  • 1903: Osborn marries Edith Octavia Tye, a Canadian, they have two daughters
  • 1905: Appointed Acting Librarian
  • 1907: Osborn becomes College Librarian
  • 1914: Osborn starts the Rutgers Alumni Quarterly
  • 1922: Receives honorary A.M. degree from Rutgers University
  • 1928: Elected president of the New Jersey Library Association
  • 1932: Osborn becomes an appointed professor
  • 1935: Receives Rutgers award of merit (“Rutgers University Award”)
  • 1937: Publishes “The Use of the Library” in the first Journal of the Rutgers University Library (Vol. 1, no. 1, Dec. 1937)
  • 1944: Osborn receives a honorary degree from Rutgers University
  • 1945: Resigns as University Librarian on June 25
  • 1947: George Augustus Osborn dies at his home on May 1

From the guide to the Records of the Rutgers University Librarian (George A. Osborn), 1880-1955, (Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Records of the Rutgers University Librarian (George A. Osborn), 1880-1955 Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Cameron, Donald F. person
associatedWith Cook, Albert S. (Albert Stanburrough), 1853-1927 person
associatedWith Douglass, Mabel Smith, 1877-1933 person
associatedWith Fair, Ethel M. (Ethel Marion) person
associatedWith Frelinghuysen, Theodorus person
associatedWith Griffis, William Elliot, 1843-1928 person
associatedWith Haeckel, Ernst Heinrich Philipp August, 1834-1919 person
associatedWith Hook, James L person
associatedWith Johnson, A. S. person
associatedWith Jones, C. J. K. person
associatedWith Kinkead, George B. person
associatedWith Knollenburg, Bernhard person
associatedWith Mettler, John Wycoff person
associatedWith Morrison, A. Cresy person
associatedWith Nagy, Stephen K person
associatedWith Neilson, James person
associatedWith New Jersey Library Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Paltsits, Victor Hugo, 1867-1952 person
associatedWith Ralph Voorhees Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Randall, William person
associatedWith Rutgers University. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Rutgers University. Library. Associated Friends. corporateBody
associatedWith Rutgers University Press corporateBody
associatedWith Schwaab, Eugene L. (Eugene Lincoln), 1909- person
associatedWith Scott, Austin, 1848-1922 person
associatedWith Skeel, Emily Ellsworth Ford, 1867-1958 person
associatedWith Smith, Franklin S person
associatedWith Stanton, Theodore person
associatedWith Stevenson, Edward L, 1858-1944 person
associatedWith Sweet, F. G. person
associatedWith Thorpe, Russell person
associatedWith Upson, Irving S. person
associatedWith Webster, Noah person
associatedWith Wells, Gabriel, 1862-1946 person
associatedWith Weston, James V. R. person
associatedWith Wilde, Percival, 1887-1953 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Academic libraries


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