Browse all items in the collection
The idea for the formation of the American Library Association came into being from a gathering of library professionals during the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. During the Exposition, 103 librarians (among them were Justin Winsor, William Frederick Poole, Charles Ammi Cutter, Melvil Dewey, and Richard Rogers Bowker) decided on holding a "Convention of Librarians" to be held October 4-6 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The register for charter members was signed on October 6, 1876 which marks the foundation of the American Library Association.
The 27 pieces of correspondence in this collection originate in the Association's decision to pursue an official Charter. These letters are written by various officers of the ALA and other constituents who were to attend the 1879 annual gathering regarding the Charter. It was on December 10, 1879, that the Association was legally organized and established, and signed the official Charter. The Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Henry B. Peirce, certified the event granting Justin Winsor, C. A. Cutter, Samuel S. Green, James L. Whitney, Melvil Dui, Fred B. Perkins and Thomas W. Bicknell as well as their associates and successors with the "powers, rights, and privileges, and subject to the limitations, duties, and restrictions, which by law appertain thereto."
Please direct questions about this digital collection to email@example.com or 708-524-6884.