Since there is a ressurgence in Alice in Wonderland inspired paraphenalia at the moment I thought I’d continue the theme with today’s librarian of the day.
Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson as he was born is best remembered for his literary output but was also a mathematician, a clergyman, a photography enthuasiast and…a librarian.
Following completion of his BA in mathematics at Christ Church College Oxford in 1854 Dodgson occupied the position of sub librarian there until 1857 when he began his MA in mathematics. It was during his time as sub librarian that Dodgson settled upon the pseudonym under which he would write the Alice books, the first of which ‘Alice’s adventures in wonderland’ was published in 1865.
To round up the librarian of the day feature here are a few more famous and infamous librarians from history – and a few we’d rather forget about.
David Hume – Described by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as “most important philosopher ever to write in English” served as librarian to the Faculty of Advocates in Edinburgh from 1752 to 1757 when he resigned following pressure from religious zealots.
Immanuel Kant – served as assistant Librarian of the Royal Castle Library in his native Koningsberg from 1766 to 1772.
Jacob Grimm of Grimms fairytales fame worked as librarian at Kasel Library, during which time he and his brother Wilhelm collected German folk tales.
And here are the ones we’re glad left the profession…
Mao Zedong – served as assitant librarian at Peking University before moving on to pursue ‘other interests’
J Edgar Hoover – Director of the FBI’s bureau of investigation from 1924 to 1972 worked as a cataloguer and clerk at the Library of Congress while studying at night.
Library quote of the day ‘I’ve been drunk for about a week now, I thought it might sober me up to sit in a library’ F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘The Great Gatsby’ chapter 3.