American Library Association Convention photograph

American Library Association Convention photograph

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: American Library Association Convention photograph
Dates: 1899
Quantity: 0.1 Linear feet (1 oversized folder A)
Coll. Number: ms2936

Biographical/Historical Note

The ALA Constitution states the purpose of ALA as, "The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship." The stated mission is, "To provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all." -- "Mission & Priorities." American Library Association. (Retrieved January 28, 2010)


"Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey was born on December 10, 1851 to a poor family who lived in a small town in upper New York state. Keenly interested in simplified spelling, he shortened his first name to Melvil as a young adult, dropped his middle names and, for a short time, even spelled his last name as Dui.

Dewey invented the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system when he was 21 and working as a student assistant in the library of Amherst College. His work created a revolution in library science and set in motion a new era of librarianship. Melvil Dewey well deserves the title of "Father of Modern Librarianship"... He helped establish the American Library Association (ALA) in 1876; he was its secretary from 1876-1890 and its president for the 1890/1891 and 1892/1893 terms. He also co-founded and edited Library Journal.

In addition, Dewey promoted library standards and formed a company to sell library supplies, which eventually became the Library Bureau company of today. A pioneer in library education, Dewey became the librarian of Columbia College (now Columbia University) in New York City in 1883, and founded the world's first library school there in 1887. In 1889, he became director of the New York State Library in Albany, a position he held until 1906... Melvil Dewey died after suffering a stroke on December 26, 1931 at age 80.

Seven decades after his death, he is still primarily known for the Dewey Decimal Classification, the most widely used library classification scheme in the world." -- "How one library pioneer profoundly influenced modern librarianship." OCLC educational resources.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of one black and white photograph measuring 13" x 16 3/8" and showing a group of attendees at the American Library Association Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1899. Melvil Dewey can be seen in front with his hat on his lap.

Index Terms

American Library Association. Conference. -- Photographs
Black-and-white photographs.
Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931 -- Photographs

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

American Library Association Convention photograph. MS 2936. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

OS Folder
1AGroup photograph, 1899