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Passed at a Recent Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


The following minute on the death of Dr. Justin Winsor, late Librarian of Harvard University was passed at a recent meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences:

In the death of Justin Winsor, LL. D., and from 1877 to 1897 Librarian of the University, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences find occasion for making upon their records an entry recognizing the distinguished services of an officer who, although not a member of their body, stood in an intimate relation with them and their work.

Mr. Winsor entered the service of the University at a moment which for this Faculty as then constituted was both critical and fortunate. The Faculty had entered upon the systematic development of their instruction, elementary and advanced, both by enlarging its range and improving its methods, and upon their success in a great and difficult undertaking depended the future rank of Harvard as a seat of learning. At this juncture Mr. Winsor took charge of the Library with the settled purpose of making it a help and a spur to instructors and to students in their daily work, and a source of vital influence in University life. The extension of the Library in 1876 and the accession of some important funds strengthened his hands at the outset. His rules of administration, his plans for the remodeling of Gore Hall in 1895, and those for a great future extension, were all studied in the light of his own experience, in the use as well as the custody of books, and to the end of his life his efforts to make the Library a workshop for members of the University of every degree never flagged.

As a scholar living among scholars, he was master of many fields of knowledge and had a catholic interest in all; his eminence as a librarian and as an historian had secured him a wide acquaintance with men both at home and abroad; and every resource of stored knowledge, of personal experience and of influence as a member of the republic of letters, was placed at the command of those who sought his help. Students found him a willing adviser, ready to impart the results of a life of investigation. Instructors were stimulated by his devotion to his own studies, aided by his impartial friendship for every department of learning, and encouraged by his hearty acceptance of every proposition for the improvement and better use of the collections under his charge. For twenty of the most important years in the intellectual history of the University, Mr. Winsor thus co-operated with the teaching body now incorporated in this Faculty as their fellow-laborer, counsellor and friend. For no small proportion of the ripening fruit of those years they and the University are now indebted to him.

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