Putnam, Herbert

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Herbert Putnam (b. Sept. 20, 1861, New York City–d. Aug. 14, 1955, Woods Hole, MA) was the eighth Librarian of Congress from 1899 to 1939. Putnam was born in New York City to parents Victorine and George Palmer Putnam; his father owned publishing house, G. P. Putnam's Sons. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Munroe and had two daughters, Shirley and Brenda Putnam.

Putnam graduated from Harvard University in 1883. He served as librarian at Minneapolis Athenaeum, later Minneapolis Public Library, and was elected city librarian of the Minneapolis Public Library while simultaneously being admitted to the Minnesota bar of Law. While in Minneapolis, he developed the Putnam Classification System. In 1891, Putnam returned to Boston and practiced law until his appointed Librarian of the Boston Public Library in 1895. During his time at the BPL, Putnam implemented dramatic changes including opening a room for juvenile books, possibly the first. He was also involved in the American Library Association and served as President.

He was appointed Librarian of Congress by President William McKinley and officially confirmed December 12, 1899. As Librarian of Congress he was incredibly influential and successfully reorganized materials and also created new scheme of classification, the Library of Congress Classification. Further, he established an interlibrary loan system and expanded collecting of the library. During WWI, Putnam worked with the ALA and the government to donate books to soldiers.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Gratia A. Countryman and family papers., 1861-1953. Minnesota Historical Society.
creatorOf Putnam, Herbert, 1861-1955. Papers of Herbert Putnam, 1783-1958 (bulk 1899-1939). Library of Congress
referencedIn United States Territorial Acquisitions Conference. United States Territorial Acquisitions Conference records, 1899-1900. Library of Congress
referencedIn Theodore Wesley Koch Papers, 1894-1941 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Amy Lowell correspondence, 1883-1927 (inclusive), 1910-1925 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Richard Rogers Bowker papers, 1856-1958 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Putnam, Herbert Franklin D. Roosevelt Library
creatorOf Putnam, Herbert, 1861-1955. Letters to Bertha G. Ridgeway, 1899. University of Iowa Libraries
referencedIn Letters received by the Norton family, 1830-1920. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Scott, Austin, 1848-1922. Papers, 1865-1937, 1871-1922 (bulk). Rutgers University
referencedIn Smith, Corinna Lindon, 1876-1965. Papers, 1851-1966 (inclusive). Harvard University, Schlesinger Library
referencedIn Barrows family papers, 1861-1931. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Portraits of University of California individuals and groups, ca. 1850-[ongoing] The Bancroft Library. University Archives.
creatorOf Countryman, Gratia A. (Gratia Alta), 1866-1953. Gratia A. Countryman and family papers, 1861-1953. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Johnston, William Dawson, 1871-1928. William Dawson Johnston papers, 1842-1927 (bulk 1904-1920). Library of Congress
referencedIn Bingham family papers, 1811-1974 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf Library of Congress. Correspondence with Joseph Pennell, 1917. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Papers, 1851-1966 Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
referencedIn William Woodville Rockhill papers, 1826-1941. Houghton Library.
creatorOf United States. Library of Congress. Acknowledgement of gift to the Library, Washington, D. C., 1933, July 29, to Frederick S. Peck. Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Stevenson, Burton Egbert, 1872-1962. Papers of Burton Egbert Stevenson, 1900-1947. Library of Congress
creatorOf Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. Papers of T.S. Eliot, 1892-1986. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Ford, Worthington Chauncey, 1858-1941. Worthington Chauncey Ford papers, 1858-1938, bulk (1880-1925). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Hendrik Christian Andersen Papers, 1844-1940, (bulk 1890-1920) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Century Company records, 1870-1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Bingham family. Bingham family papers, 1811-1974 (inclusive). Yale University Library
referencedIn The Francis Marion Wigmore collection [manuscript] . University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Whitney Warren papers, 1914-1926. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Records of the U.S. Customs Service. 1745 - 1997. Central File Relating to Records Management
referencedIn Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938. George Lincoln Burr papers, 1861-1942. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Inventory to the Records of the Rutgers College Office of the President (Austin Scott), 1865-1937 Rutgers University Libraries. Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Burton Egbert Stevenson Papers, 1900-1951 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Wilberforce Eames papers, 1850-1937, 1900-1937 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Library of Congress. Letter of credit given to Dr. Kan'ichi Asakawa on the development of Japanese collection by the Librarian of Congress, Herbert Putnam, 1906 Jan 18 [Washington, D.C.]. National Diet Library
referencedIn Nelson, William, 1847-1914. Papers, 1690-1875. New Jersey Historical Society Library
referencedIn Oswald Garrison Villard papers, 1872-1949. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Educators and librarians collection, 1846-1953. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Putnam, Herbert, 1861-1955. Herbert Putnam papers, 1864-1931. Historical Society of Washington, Dc
creatorOf Library of Congress. Correspondence with Edward Larocque Tinker, 1926-1929. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf United States. Library of Congress. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1935. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Autograph File, P, 1554-2005. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Poe Memorial Association. Correspondence of the Poe Memorial Association [manuscript], 1899-1911. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Brown, Philip G. Copyright registration for the diary of a soldier in the Philippines : Washington, D.C. : DS, 1901. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Bowker, R. R. (Richard Rogers), 1848-1933. Richard Rogers Bowker Papers, 1856-1958. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn William Roscoe Thayer papers, 1762-1927 (inclusive), 1872-1921 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Houghton Mifflin Company correspondence and records, 1832-1944. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. Correspondence, 1865-1913, "Patten" to "Sargent". Brown University, John Hay Library
referencedIn Bingham family. Bingham family papers, 1811-1974 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. Scrapbook. George Washington University
referencedIn David McNeely Stauffer papers, ca. 1703-ca. 1924 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Library of Congress. Correspondence : with Paul Philippe Cret, 1937-1942. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Letters of condolence and thanks, 1915. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Sears, Louis Martin, 1885-. The Louis Martin Sears Papers, 1911-1960 (inclusive), 1928-1958 (bulk). Purdue University Library
referencedIn Correspondence and compositions, 1870-1963. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Arthur Twining Hadley, president of Yale University, records, 1899-1921 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937. Papers of J. Franklin Jameson, 1604-1994 (bulk 1900-1930). Library of Congress
referencedIn McKinley (1897-1901): Putnam, Herbert United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States Commandery of the State of Massachusetts Civil War collection, 1724-1933 (inclusive);, 1861-1912 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Andersen, Hendrik Christian, 1872-1940. Papers of Hendrik Christian Andersen, 1844-1940 (bulk 1890-1920). Library of Congress
referencedIn Barnhart mss., 1813-1962 Lilly Library (Indiana University, Bloomington)
referencedIn Worthington Chauncey Ford papers, 1858-1938, 1880-1925 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Papers, 1867-2005 Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard University
referencedIn William Dawson Johnston Papers, 1842-1927, (bulk 1904-1920) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Charles Moore papers, 1901-1940 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Houghton family correspondence concerning Henry Oscar Houghton biography, 1878-1931. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Papers, 1903-2005 Harvard Art Museum Archives, Harvard University
creatorOf Bates, Albert Carlos, 1865-1954. Correspondence, 1882-1952. Connecticut Historical Society
referencedIn Papers, 1911-1944 (inclusive), 1929-1937 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Correspondence from the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation Collection, 1894-1953, (bulk 1920-1953) Music Division Library of Congress
referencedIn Charles Eliot Norton papers, ca.1845-1908. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Educators and Librarians Collection, 1846-1953 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn McCreery-Fenton Family papers, 1818-1948, 1860-1940 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Babine, Alexis Vasilevich, 1866-1930. Alexis Vasilevich Babine papers, 1895-1953. Library of Congress
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Claude Halstead Van Tyne papers, 1885-1930 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
referencedIn Alexis Vasilévich Babine Papers, 1895-1953 Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Library of Congress. Correspondence with Elizabeth Robins Pennell, 1927-1934. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf BAINES MANUSCRIPTS. Vol. XXIV A (ff. 64). Press cuttings, articles and letters, annotated by Mrs Baines; 1915-1940. Includes (f. 63) one letter from Ferruccio Busoni, 1922. Oblong quarto. In red morocco album, gilt-stamped.includes:f. iii Bookplate..., 1915-1940 British Library
referencedIn Mark Anthony De Wolfe Howe additional papers, 1880-1959. Houghton Library.
referencedIn Library (University of Michigan) records, 1837-2005, 1920-2000 Bentley Historical Library , University of Michigan
creatorOf Stauffer, David McNeely, 1845-1913. David McNeely Stauffer papers, ca. 1703-ca. 1924. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, James Truslow, 1878-1949. person
memberOf American academy of arts and sciences corporateBody
memberOf American antiquarian society corporateBody
memberOf American Library Association corporateBody
correspondedWith Andersen, Hendrik Christian, 1872-1940. person
correspondedWith Babine, Alexis Vasilevich, 1866-1930. person
associatedWith Barnhart, John D. (John Donald), 1895-1967 person
correspondedWith Barrows family. family
associatedWith Bates, Albert Carlos, 1865-1954. person
associatedWith Bingham family. family
associatedWith Bingham family. family
associatedWith Bingham family. family
employeeOf Boston Public Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Bowker, R. R. (Richard Rogers), 1848-1933. person
associatedWith Brown, Philip G. person
associatedWith Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938. person
correspondedWith Century Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Coolidge, Elizabeth Sprague, 1864-1953 person
associatedWith CORINNA HAVEN (PUTNAM) SMITH, 1876-1965 person
associatedWith Countryman, Gratia A. (Gratia Alta), 1866-1953. person
correspondedWith Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 person
associatedWith Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931 person
associatedWith Eames, Wilberforce, 1855-1937 person
associatedWith Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Evans, Luther Harris, 1902-1981. person
correspondedWith Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969 person
associatedWith Ford, Worthington Chauncey, 1858-1941. person
alumnusOrAlumnaOf Harvard university corporateBody
correspondedWith Houghton family. family
correspondedWith Houghton Mifflin Company. corporateBody
correspondedWith Howe, M. A. De Wolfe (Mark Antony De Wolfe), 1864-1960 person
associatedWith Jameson, J. Franklin (John Franklin), 1859-1937. person
correspondedWith Johnston, William Dawson, 1871-1928. person
associatedWith Koch, Theodore Wesley, 1871-1941 person
associatedWith Leland, Waldo Gifford, 1879-1966. person
employeeOf Library of Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Library of Congress. Trust Fund Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Livingston, Flora Virginia Milner, 1862- person
correspondedWith Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925 person
associatedWith MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982. person
associatedWith Mason family. family
associatedWith McCreery Family family
associatedWith Meyer, Agnes Elizabeth Ernst, 1887-1970. person
associatedWith Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Commandery of the State of Massachusetts, collector. corporateBody
employeeOf Minneapolis public library corporateBody
associatedWith Moore, Charles, 1855-1942. person
associatedWith Munroe, Charles W. person
associatedWith Nelson, William, 1847-1914. person
associatedWith Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908 person
correspondedWith Norton family, recipient. family
correspondedWith Norton family, recipient. family
associatedWith O'Hara family. family
associatedWith Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1870-1957. person
correspondedWith Pease, Arthur Stanley, 1881- person
associatedWith Pinhey, Amy Putnam person
associatedWith Pinkey family. family
associatedWith Poe Memorial Association. corporateBody
parentOf Putnam, Brenda, 1890- person
spouseOf Putnam, Charlotte Elizabeth Munroe, d. 1928. person
associatedWith Putnam, Edith G. person
correspondedWith Putnam family family
memberOf Putnam family. family
childOf Putnam, George Palmer, 1814-1872. person
associatedWith Putnam, Ruth, 1856-1931. person
associatedWith Reform Club (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
correspondedWith Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914 person
correspondedWith Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914 person
correspondedWith Rockhill, William Woodville, 1854-1914 person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919. person
associatedWith Rutgers College. Office of the President corporateBody
associatedWith Sachs, Paul J., 1878-1965 person
associatedWith Scott, Austin, 1848-1922. person
associatedWith Sears, Louis Martin, 1885- person
associatedWith Smith, Corinna Lindon, 1876-1965. person
associatedWith Spofford, Ainsworth Rand, 1825-1908. person
associatedWith Stauffer, David McNeely, 1845-1913. person
associatedWith Stevenson, Burton Egbert, 1872-1962. person
associatedWith Swartwout, Egerton, 1870-1943. person
correspondedWith Thayer, William Roscoe, 1859-1923 person
associatedWith United States. Library of Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Library of Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Territorial Acquisitions Conference. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Michigan. Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Tyne, Claude Halstead, 1869-1930 person
correspondedWith Villard, Oswald Garrison, 1872-1949 person
associatedWith Vollbehr, Otto H. F. (Otto Heinrich Friederich), b. 1869. person
associatedWith Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. person
associatedWith Ward, Lester Frank, 1841-1913. person
correspondedWith Warren, Whitney, 1864-1943 person
associatedWith Winsor, Justin, 1831-1897 person
associatedWith Yale University. President's Office. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York City NY US
Woods Hole MA US
Subject
Autographs--Collections
Incunabula
Librarians
Libraries
Decedents' estates
Occupation
Librarians of Congress
Librarians
Function

Person

Birth 1861-09-20

Death 1955-08-14

Americans

English

Information

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