The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Cogswell, Joseph Green

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COGSWELL, Joseph Green, American librarian and bibliographer: b. Ipswich, Mass., 27 Sept. 1786; d. Cambridge, Mass., 26 Nov. 1871. He was graduated at Harvard in 1806 and practised law for a few years in Belfast, Me. He was a tutor at Harvard 1813-15 and after four years of study in Europe he was made professor of geology and mineralogy and librarian at Harvard. In 1823, in connection with George Bancroft, he founded the famous Round Hill school at Northampton, Mass., the plan and methods of instruction being based on an examination of the best English and German systems of education. The school was discontinued in 1836. After a period of editorship of the New York Review, Cogswell, with John Jacob Astor, Fitz-Greene Halleck and Washington Irving, formulated the plan of the Astor Library. Cogswell was appointed its chief (1848), a place for which his remarkable attainments as a bibliographer eminently qualified him. He went abroad to purchase books and laid the foundation of the present collection with rare discrimination and economy. He presented to it his own fine collection of bibliographical works and prepared a catalogue of its contents. Advancing years caused his retirement in 1861. He was a frequent contributor to the leading reviews, such as the North American Review, Backwoods and the Monthly Anthology. Consult Ticknor, ‘Life of Joseph Green Cogswell as Sketched in his Letters’ (Cambridge, Mass., 1874).