Guide to the Records of the Acting Librarian Effie Keith (1882-1969)

Collection Title: Records of the Acting Librarian Effie Keith (1882-1969)
Dates: 1933-2004
Identification: 9/1/9
Creator: Keith, Effie, 1882-1969
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Effie Keith's records fill one half-size box and span the years 1933-2004. The majority of the materials come from 1941-1944, during her tenure as Acting University Librarian. The materials include correspondence, personnel files, periodical clippings, and some inventories and reports.
Acquisition Information: The Records of Effie Keith are comprised of material from Accession # 74-95, which were transferred from the Northwestern University Archives' Alumni Biographical Files and Faculty Biographical Files.
Processing Information: Jeremy Abbott, February 23, 2005
Separated Materials: Half an inch of duplicate and extraneous material was discarded.
Conditions Governing Access: None.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Born April 1, 1882 in West Bainbridge, New York, Effie Almira Keith held various positions in the Northwestern University Library from 1916 through 1949. During the course of her tenure, she most notably held the position of Acting University Librarian between the terms of Theodore Koch and Jens Nyholm (1941-1944), but she also held the position of head cataloguer (1916-1921), Assistant University Librarian (1921-1941, 1944-1947), and Special Consultant in Cataloguing (1947-1949).

During her Acting Librarianship, she ably steered the library through the manpower shortages caused by World War II, negotiated the consolidation of three different departmental libraries into the library of the newly constructed Technological Institute, and secured the purchase of the Franz Boas Collection, which provided the foundation of the Africana collection. After Jens Nyholm took over the Head Librarian position, she returned to her position of Assistant Librarian, retiring in 1947. However, Nyholm immediately called her out of retirement to appoint her as a special consultant in cataloguing to take advantage of her expertise in bibliographic cataloguing. She retired from this position in 1949, only to begin another appointment as Assistant University Librarian, this time at neighboring Seabury-Western Theology Seminary, a position she held for seventeen years until her final retirement at the age of eighty-five. She passed away two years later on February 7, 1969.

Scope and Content

Effie Keith's records fill one half-size box and span the years 1933-2004. The majority of the materials come from 1941-1944, during her tenure as Acting University Librarian.

The records begin with some chronologically arranged biographical material, including personnel files, obituary notices, and posthumous tributes. The bulk of the material then comes in the form of correspondence between Keith and various library personnel, professors, and book dealers. Those with whom Keith exchanged significant correspondence have been given their own folders, arranged alphabetically, including correspondence regarding the Boas Collection, Technological Institute library, and a cranky collector of political cartoons. Also included is a folder for general correspondence. Lastly a folder containing Keith's publications includes “A Selected Bibliography of Library Architecture: 1915-1930.”

The materials include correspondence, personnel files, periodical clippings, and some inventories and reports.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Library

Subjects

Academic libraries--Illinois--Evanston

Library administration--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • Miscellaneous – Biographical, 1933-2004Box 1, Folder 1
  • Correspondence – General, 1934-1944Box 1, Folder 2
  • Correspondence – Boas Collection, 1943-1944Box 1, Folder 3
  • Correspondence – Dean Fagg, 1940-1944Box 1, Folder 4
  • Correspondence – Rudolph Franz, 1942Box 1, Folder 5
  • Correspondence – Theodore Koch, 1936-1939Box 1, Folder 6
  • Correspondence – Tech Institute Library, 1941-1944Box 1, Folder 7
  • Publications – General, n.d.Box 1, Folder 8