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Boston's New Librarian.

A Harvard Man, Herbert Putnam '83, Gets the Position.


Herbert Putnam '83, has been appointed librarian of the Boston Public Library and has accepted the appointment. He will assume the duties of his position on Monday next. Mr. Putnam is a son of the well known publisher of that name. After graduating from Harvard he spent a year in the Columbia Law School, from which he went to Minneapolis, where he was admitted to the Minnesota bar. He was soon drawn into library work, however, and became librarian of the Minneapolis Athenaeum, then containing about ten thousand volumes, which it was intended to incorporate in a larger and freer city library.

The work of amalgamation with the proposed public library was successful largely through the energy of Mr. Putnam, who continued his connection with the new library when it was completed. At that time it stood fifth in point of circulation among the libraries of the United States, while the building has been ranked among the two or three best equipped in the country. In 1887 Mr. Putnam went abroad, visiting England and Scotland, and bought $30,000 worth of books for the library, adding to this some $10,000 or $20,000 worth for the next couple of years.

Mr. Putnam stayed seven years in all at the Athenaeum and the Public Library and then resigned and returned to the east. For the last three years he has been a member of the Suffolk bar, in active practice in Boston. In this time he has made one trip abroad to buy books on architecture and the fine arts for Minneapolis.

Though only thirty-four years old, Mr. Putnam is very highly spoken of by all who have had any chance to estimate his abilities. President Eliot is reported to have declared him one of the best three librarians in the United States, and from Minneapolis the testimony in his favor is especially favorable. The Boston Transcript in commenting editorially upon his appointment, says: "Everything seems to indicate that the new librarian has books in his blood, so to speak, and also the executive ability which is needed by the head of a great library like ours. Mr. Putnam's record in connection with the Minneapolis library points to success in Boston."

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