Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Putnam, Herbert
PUTNAM, Herbert, librarian, b. in New York city, 20 Sept., 1861, is the son of George P. Putnam, the publisher (q. v.). He was graduated from Harvard with the class of 1883; the following year he spent at Columbia law-school. In 1884 he became librarian of the Minneapolis athenæum, and later was appointed librarian of the Minneapolis public library, a city institution which he organized upon the basis of the athenæum; he held this position until December, 1891. Then he took up the practice of law in Boston until 1895, when he was appointed librarian of the Boston public library, just removed from Boylston street to the new building in Copley square. After the death of John Russell Young, President McKinley appointed him librarian of congress in March, 1899. During 1896-7 he was president of the Massachusetts library club, he represented the United States as a delegate to the International library conference at London in 1897, and in 1898 he was chosen president of the American library association, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justin Winsor. He received the honorary degree of Litt. D. from Bowdoin in 1898.