Mr. Sibley was librarian of the Harvard Library from 1856 to 1877. During this period of twenty-one years, the progress that seemed to characterize all that related to the Library was very great, and it may be truly said that this great progress was largely due to Mr. Sibley's devotion to the interests of the institution. Harvard certainly has every reason to be thankful to one who has helped her in attaining to what now is her proud boast, "the largest and best college library in the country."
In 1841 the library was removed to Gore Hall, and numbered at that time about 41,000 volumes, and had a fund with a total income of $250 a year. In the same year Mr. Sibley became assistant librarian. Fifteen years later, at the death of the librarian, Dr. Thaddeus William Harris, known widely as an entomologist, Mr. Sibley succeeded to the position of librarian. In 1877, when Mr. Sibley resigned and became librarian Emeritus, the library contained 164,000 volumes and nearly as many pamphlets, and the permanent fund' formerly $5000, had been increased to $170,000.
These figures speak for themselves, and strongly testify to the late librarian's energy and enterprise. That he was a persistent and able worker is unquestionable; and no one can deny that in a large degree Harvard is indebted to him for what her library is to-day.