A special thanks to ALA graduate assistant Salvatore De Sando for all his hard work on this exhibit! And thanks to ALA graduate students Sharon Pietryka, Leanna Barcelona, and Madison Well for their help.
Despite the relative success and enthusiastic reception of the 1853 Librarians’ Convention, it failed in its goal to establish a permanent organization of librarian professionals. The next attempt to create a permanent association occurred again in 1876.
An anonymous letter to the London publication, Academy, noted that it was strange “that no attempt should have been make to convene a Congress of librarians.” The letter was then reprinted in Publishers’ Weekly by Frederick Leypoldt and mentioned again in an issue of the Nation. From there the idea picked up momentum, drawing the attention of highly regarded librarians such as Melvil Dewey. Continue reading ““Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference”→
In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the American Library Association, the ALA Archives, spearheaded by Salvatore De Sando (ALA Archives Assistant), will be tweeting correspondence about the 1876 Conference. The source materials come from a scrapbook of letters and publications for the first ALA conference in 1876 in Philadelphia, October 4-6. The archives will be tweeting the written words from correspondents, such as Melvil Dewey, Justin Winsor, William Poole, and other founders of the ALA.
The tweets start on May 18th and will continue through the summer. Follow us on Twitter @ALA_Archives and our hashtag #ala1876.
In October 12-16 of 1891, the first ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco was held. It was the first conference to be held on the Pacific Coast and 83 people were in attendance, with Samuel Swett Green presiding as president. Even after over a hundred years, some of the topics discussed during the sessions would not be out of place at the 2015 Annual Conference. ALA members talked about library architecture, library administration, the use of libraries in schools, library legislation, and public support for public libraries. Continue reading “Tour of the ALA to the Pacific Coast”→
This “Traveling” Souvenir is sent to a few friends, and I hope it may give enough pleasure to offset cost of postage. (Preface, 1897 Photo Album)
As described in an earlier blog post: Frederick Winthrop Faxon (1866-1936) was the early bard of the American Library Association. Although he was not a librarian, he was memorialized as someone who “for almost forty years,[…] devoted himself to serving librarians and promoting the library idea.” Attending 43 annual conferences throughout his lifetime, Faxon’s humorous reports enliven several years of the American Library Association Papers and Proceedings. Continue reading “Faxon’s Traveling Conference Albums”→
The ALA Archives staff found a picture of Leonard Nimoy (March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015) in our Record Series 13/5/15. ALA conferences have a long tradition of distinguished guests and author signings, and Nimoy was at the 1976 ALA Annual Conference, signing pictures for his newly released memoir I am Not Spock. Apparently he got tired of smiling for the camera.
This picture, and a write up of the event, was featured in American Libraries Vol. 7, No. 7 (Jul. – Aug., 1976), p. 473. Copyright of this image is currently unknown and is provided in low resolution.
The American Library Association Annual Conference is often a much anticipated event for librarians. In 1876, 103 people attended the first conference in Philadelphia; last year alone over 26,000 people attended the Annual Conference in Chicago. Needless to say, the conference has grown a bit.
Amongst all of the exhibits, sessions, speakers, and free swag, there is one item that is essential to get around any conference: the program. The program is the guide that allows people to navigate the conference, select which events to go to, which speakers to listen to, and where to obtain a free lunch. Throughout the years, the Annual Conference Program has become thicker as the conference has expanded, and it has changed its appearance. Early conference programs continue to be a valuable resource to the archives, but they were not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as the ones the ALA produces today. Continue reading “Ode to the Conference Program”→