Harriet G. Eddy was born in Lexington, Michigan, in 1876. She graduated from Albion College in her home state and completed post-graduate work at the University of Chicago. She began her professional career teaching high school in Montana and became principal of the Elk Grove, California, high school when she relocated to that state.
In 1909 Eddy was appointed by State Librarian James L. Gillis to develop public library service in the various counties of the state. For the next 9 years she travelled throughout the state establishing libraries in 40 of the state's 58 counties. She later wrote about this experience in "County free library organizing in California: 1909-1918, personal recollections."
In 1918 Eddy jointed the faculty of the University California's Agricultural Extension. But in 1927 she received an invitation to go the the U.S.S.R. to survey their library system. She spent some time in the country visiting libraries there and her report to the Commissar of Education was very well received. In later years Eddy traveled widely in Eastern Europe consulting on the development of library service in the area. She was often accompanied by her sister, Myrta Newman, and wrote of their travel escapades in an unpublished memoir "The rover girls."
Eddy was also active in various organizations supporting the peace effort including the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. In March of 1966 she was honored shortly after her 90th birthday with a celebration attended by friends and colleagues. She died the following December 3rd.
From the description of Harriet G. Eddy papers, 1918-1967. (California State Library). WorldCat record id: 63193649