TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Administrative Information

Biographies of W. L. Williamson and William Frederick Poole

Scope and Content of the Collection

Organization

Selected Search Terms

Container List

Series 1: W. L. Williamson Correspondence, 1952-1959

Series 2: Research Files

Series 3: W. F. Poole Correspondence, 1866-1894

Series 4: Miscellaneous

Series 5: Microfilm

|

Inventory of the W.L. Williamson - William F. Poole Research Papers, 1865-1959


The Newberry Library
Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
60 West Walton Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610-7324
USA
Phone: 312-255-3506
Fax: 312-255-3646
E-Mail: specialcolls@newberry.org
URL: http://www.newberry.org

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Lisa Janssen, 2004.

©2004.


Descriptive Summary of the Collection

Creator Williamson, William Landram, 1920-
Title W.L. Williamson - William F. Poole Research Papers
Dates 1865-1959
Extent 2.5 linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract Correspondence, writings, and research notes of W. L. Williamson in support of his biography of William Frederick Poole. Also copies of William Frederick Poole correspondence 1856-1894, microfilm, a few newspaper clippings 1874-1895, a few Poole photographs, and one Poole original publication.
Language Materials are in English.
Repository Newberry Library, Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections
Collection Call Number Midwest MS Williamson
Collection Stack Location 3a 30 12

Administrative Information

Cite As

W.L. Williamson - William F. Poole Research Papers, The Newberry Library, Chicago.

Provenance

Gift of W. L. Williamson, 1976 and 2001.

Processed by

Carol Gulyas, 2003.

Access

The W.L. Williamson - William F. Poole Research Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The W.L. Williamson - William F. Poole Research Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Return to the Table of Contents


Biographies of W. L. Williamson and William Frederick Poole

William L. Williamson (1920- ) was Nicholas Murray Butler Librarian at Columbia University from 1954-1964. After 1964 he became Librarian of Montclair, New Jersey State College. In 1966, he was appointed Professor of Library Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and took emeritus status in 1987. He wrote William Frederick Poole and the Modern Library Movement (1963), a biography of that sought to show how Poole's career represented the development of librarianship in the last half of the nineteenth century.

W. F. (William Frederick) Poole (1821-94) was an American librarian, bibliographer, and historian, b. Essex co., Massachusetts. He headed the Boston Athenaeum (1856-1869), the Cincinnati Public Library (1871-1873), Chicago Public Library (1874-1887), and the Newberry Library during its founding years (1887-1894), where he undertook building its collections as well as planning its space. Poole was a founder of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876 and was active in the organization until his death in 1894. He was President of the American Library Association and the American Historical Association.

He wrote the first general index to U.S. periodicals, Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1848), a precursor to the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature, in addition to numerous periodical articles and monographs. His forty-seven years as a librarian can be seen as a portrait of the library profession from its beginning through its transition to the modern era.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Content of the Collection

Correspondence, writings, and research notes of W. L. Williamson, 1865-1967, relating to his biography of William F. Poole.

Includes correspondence between Williamson and the many libraries, research institutions, and individuals from whom he requested information about Poole, 1952-1967; detailed note cards; pages pertaining to the Newberry Library from the original manuscript of Williamson's University of Chicago doctoral dissertation, William Frederick Poole and the Modern Library Movement. There are copies of W. F. Poole's correspondence while head of the Boston Athenaeum (1856-1858), the Cincinnati Public Library (1869-1873), the Chicago Public Library (1874-1879), and the Newberry Library during its founding years (1887-1894); a few newspaper clippings (1874-1895, and a few photographs, including one of Poole, ca. 1876. Also includes an original of Poole's The Ordinance of 1787: a Reply (1882).

Narrative descriptions of the subject matter, types of material, and arrangement of each series are available through the Organization section of the finding aid.

Return to the Table of Contents


Organization

Papers are organized in the following series:

Return to the Table of Contents


Selected Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Newberry Library's public catalog. Researchers desiring additional materials on a particular topic should search the catalog using these headings.

Names

  • American Historical Association -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • American Library Association -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Boston Athenaeum -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Bowker, R. R. (Richard Rogers), 1848-1933
  • Chicago Public Library -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Cincinnati Public Library -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931
  • Evans, Charles, 1850-1935
  • Newberry Library -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Poole family
  • Poole, William Frederick, 1821-1894
  • Winsor, Justin, 1831-1897

Subjects

  • Chicago (Ill.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Librarians -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Libraries -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Library administration -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Manuscripts, American

Return to the Table of Contents


Container List

Series 1: W. L. Williamson Correspondence, 1952-1959

Contains incoming and outgoing letters concerning the acquisition of materials and sources relating to W. F. Poole's life and career, from individuals and institutions, including members of the Poole family and Melville Dewey's son.
Arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder Contents
1 1 A - E
1 2 F- M
1 3 M - P
1 4 P - U

Series 2: Research Files

Extensive notes about Poole's life and work. Includes history of the Poole family, 1834-1852, and details about institutions Poole headed.
Arranged by type of material, and then chronologically according to Poole's life. Note cards arranged by subject, followed by cards grouped by chronological periods.

Box Folder Contents
1 5 Clippings, 1874-1875
1 6 Notes, 1834-1852
1 7 Notes, 1853-1856
1 8 Notes, 1857-1862
1 9 Notes, 1863-1864
2 10 Notes, 1865
2 11 Notes, 1869-1880
2 12 Notes, 1881-1888
2 13 Notes, 1876-1892
2 14 Notes, 1893
2 15 Notes, 1894
3 Note Cards

Series 3: W. F. Poole Correspondence, 1866-1894

Mainly copies of Poole's outgoing professional correspondence, 1866-1994. Also excerpts from board meetings, reports to trustees, letterbooks, and other records of institutions he headed, and other relevant materials collected by W.L. Williamson. Among the recipients of Poole's letters are Melvil Dewey, Justin Winsor, Charles Evans, and R. R. Bowker.
Arranged chronologically.

Box Folder Contents
4 16 1866-1868
4 17 1869-1870
4 18 1871-1874
4 19 1875-1877
4 20 1878-1882
4 21 1883-1885
5 22 1886-1887
5 23 1880-1889
5 24 1890-1891
5 25 1892
5 26 1893-1894

Series 4: Miscellaneous

Includes pages 515 through 672, which concern the Newberry Library, of the original manuscript of William Frederick Poole and the Modern Library Movement, W. L. Williamson's doctoral thesis for the University of Chicago, 1959. Also photographs of Poole and his Evanston home, an original letter by Poole purchased from a manuscript dealer by Williamson, and printed biographical essay on Poole in German, and a pamphlet written by Poole.
Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Box Folder Contents
5 27 Biographical Essay on Poole (in German)
5 28 Letter - Poole, William F., 1884, Jan. 17
5 29 Manuscript - Williamson, W.L., Ph.D. Dissertation, p. 515-672E
5 30 Pamphlet - Poole, William F. The Ordinance of 1787, 1892
5 31 Photographs - Poole House, Grove St., Evanston, Ill. (prints and negatives)
5 32 Photographs - Poole, William F. - Portrait
5 33 Prints - Poole, William F. - Marble Bust

Series 5: Microfilm

Microfilm copies of original documents concerning Poole's life and career, from the American Antiquarian Society, the Boston Athenaeum, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and the Wisconsin Historical Society. .
Arranged alphabetically by institution

Box Reel Contents
6 1 American Antiquarian Society
6 2 Boston Athenaeum
6 3-4 Columbia University
6 5-6 University of Chicago
6 7 Wisconsin Historical Society