An offhand comment to a colleague about his handwriting lead us to this blog post about “library hand,” the formalized style of penmanship librarians were taught to use from the late 19th century until typewriters made the skill obsolete. Before typewriters and automated cataloging systems, librarians maintained handwritten accession books that listed purchasing and bibliographic information for books acquired by the library. Below are various examples of documents from the White Plains Collection that contain “library hand” and some that obviously do not. Even where writers used the style they were likely taught in library science school, there are variations which distinguish individual writers.
The accession book for the Academic Library of the Joint Union Free School notes the purchase of Andrew Carnegie’s Triumphant Democracy for $1.85. One wonders if White Plains Public Library purchased any of Carnegie’s books, given that he contributed $40,000 toward the construction of “The Grand Old Lady of Grand Street,” the original WPPL building located behind the county building.
The featured image is from a set of color slides in the White Plains Collection. In this shot, Library Director Isabel D. Clark meets with the Adult Education Committee in the Grand Street Library during the 1950s.