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Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers, ca. 1905-1935

item | details | guide | pdf

Title

Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers

Date

ca. 1905-1935

Repository

Louisville Free Public Library

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

LFP_rblue : [identification of item], Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers, Louisville Free Public Library.

Extent

3 boxes.

Biography/History

The Reverend Thomas F. Blue, the nation's first African-American to head a public library, was a respected leader in the civic, religious, and educational life of the Louisville black community.

The son of former slaves, Blue was born in Farmville, Virginia. He graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1888 and Richmond Theological Seminary. In 1905 he was selected to lead the Western Branch Library of the Louisville Free Public Library, the first public library in the nation to serve African-American patrons with an exclusively African-American staff. In 1914, Mr. Blue opened Louisville's second Carnegie branch library for African-Americans, the Eastern Branch Library. In 1919, with the addition of the two new branches, a "Colored Department" was created, the first example of such an organization in any public library system in the United States. Blue was made head of the department which included eight assistants. In addition to the two Carnegie branch buildings, this Department included two junior high schools, 15 stations and 80 classroom collections in 29 buildings -- a total of 99 centers for the circulation of books for home use in 46 buildings in Louisville and Jefferson County. Rev. Blue established an apprentice class for those wanting to enter library service that drew students from as far away as Houston and led to the establishment of the Hampton Library School in Virginia. From 1905 until his death 30 years later, Rev. Thomas F. Blue served the Louisville Free Public Library, achieving national recognition as a pioneer in the field of public service.

Scope and Content

The Collection includes handwritten and typed notes, addresses, and articles about library work written and/or presented by Rev. Blue; articles and resolutions about his life and career; photos of Rev. Blue, his staff and his diplomas.

Subjects

  • Blue, Thomas Fountain
  • African Americans -- Kentucky.
  • African Americans -- Kentucky - Louisville
  • African Americans -- Segregation
  • African American librarians.
  • African Americans and libraries.
  • African Americans and libraries - Kentucky -- Louisville.
  • Branch libraries - Kentucky -- Louisville.
  • Louisville Free Public Library.
  • Louisville Free Public Library -- History
  • Louisville Free Public Library -- Western Branch.
  • Libraries -- Kentucky -- Louisville
  • Libraries -- Special collections -- African Americans.
  • Segregation -- Kentucky -- Louisville
  • Western Colored Branch

Collection Inventory

General
Thomas Fountain Blue, Pioneer Librarian, 1866-1935, thesis by Lilian Taylor Wright, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 1/1] browse
Copy of Wright thesis, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 1/2] browse
Biographical entry, source unknown, cut from book, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 2/1] browse
Biography, author unknown, no date, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 3/1] browse
Death, burial, and cemetery documents for Thomas Fountain Blue and Albert Meyzeek, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 4/1] browse
Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935, 1935
[box: 1, folder/item: 5/1] browse
Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 (copy), 1935
[box: 1, folder/item: 5/2] browse
Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 (copy), 1935
[box: 1, folder/item: 5/3] browse
Biography, author unknown, n.d
[box: 1, folder/item: 6/1] browse
Correspondence
Letter to Thomas F. Blue from Monroe N. Work, editor, Negro Year Book, April 6, 1920, 1920
[box: 1, folder/item: 7/1] browse
Letter to Miss M.E. Ahern, Chicago, IL, Dec. 21, 1923. Re: Training of librarians, 1923
[box: 1, folder/item: 7/2] browse
Letter to Thomas F. Blue from Benjamin Brawley, editor, The Home Mission College Review, May 19, 1927, 1927
[box: 1, folder/item: 7/3] browse
Letter to Harold F. Brigham, Louisville Free Public Library, March 22, 1935. Re: theological library for Western Colored Branch, 1935
[box: 1, folder/item: 7/4] browse
Writings
"Public Library work with negroes" handwritten notes, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 1/1] browse
"Mr. T.F. Blue on American Library Association Program" Transcribed article from Louisville Leader, July 8 1922, 1922
[box: 2, folder/item: 1/2] browse
"Work with the Negro Roundtable" article from The Southern Workman, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 1/3] browse
Address (Incomplete, unknown event or audience), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/1] browse
Address of Thomas F. Blue at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of Wayland Institute, Washington D.C. and Richmond Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA, June 2, 1915, 1915
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/2] browse
Address of Thomas F. Blue at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of Wayland Institute, Washington D.C. and Richmond Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA, June 2, 1915 (copy), 1915
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/3] browse
Paper, "Making the Library Known to the Community", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/4] browse
Address (unknown event or audience), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/5] browse
Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library Making the Library known to the Community, Negro Library Conference, Fisk University, Nashville, TN, November 20-23, 1931, 1931
[box: 2, folder/item: 2/6] browse
Typescript for article published in Opportunity (journal published by National Urban League), August, 1924, pp. 244-246. "A successful library experiment", 1924
[box: 2, folder/item: 3/1] browse
Article published in Opportunity (journal published by National Urban League), August, 1924, pp. 244-246. "A successful library experiment", 1924
[box: 2, folder/item: 4/1] browse
"Examination For Admission to the Library Service in the Colored Branch", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 5/1] browse
Letter to Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, March 7, 1917, 1917
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/1] browse
History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/2] browse
History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/3] browse
History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/4] browse
Tenth Annual Report of Louisville Free Public Library, August 31, 1914, 1914
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/5] browse
"The Story Hour." Address delivered before the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, July 29, 1965 by Rachel D. Harris, 1965
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/6] browse
"The Story Hour." Address delivered before the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, July 29, 1965 by Rachel D. Harris, 1965
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/7] browse
"Arousing Community Interest in the Library" Address. Library Conference - Hampton Institute, March 15-18, 1927, 1927
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/8] browse
"Methods in Library Circulation", n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/9] browse
Program from Staff Meeting, Program by Colored Staff, Tuesday March 16, 1926, 9 a.m. Main Library, 1926
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/10] browse
"A Successful Library Experiment (Page 244), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/11] browse
Welcome Address on Behalf of Louisville Citizens Delivered by Thomas F. Blue to the Kentucky Negro educational Association, April 19, 1923, 1923
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/12] browse
"The Library as a Community Center" Address delivered to Library Conference Hampton Institute, March 16-18. 1927, 1927
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/13] browse
Life Culture Review, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 6/14] browse
Biographical notes
Brief Biography on Thomas Fountain Blue, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/1] browse
On the Library as an Aid to Public Instruction, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/2] browse
Circulation Records in Library Work, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/3] browse
Teaching Negro History, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/4] browse
History of the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library, n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/5] browse
Library Training Class, Classification and Arrangement of Book (notes), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/6] browse
Colored Library Work (notes), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/7] browse
Library Publicity (notes), n.d
[box: 2, folder/item: 7/8] browse
Blue's Work at Western Branch
Adult Booklist, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/1] browse
Juvenile Booklist, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/2] browse
Booklist, Additional books suggested for the Central Colored High School, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/3] browse
Booklist, Additional books suggested for the Central Colored High School, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/4] browse
A list of books selected from titles in the Western Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library recommended for first purchase. Compiled by Thomas F. Blue and Rachel D. Harris, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/5] browse
Booklist, Louisville Free Public Library Children's and School Department, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 1/6] browse
Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1911, 1911
[box: 3, folder/item: 2/1] browse
Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1912, 1912
[box: 3, folder/item: 2/2] browse
Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1913, 1913
[box: 3, folder/item: 2/3] browse
Booklet, Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library, n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 3/1] browse
Booklet, Colored Department Louisville Free Public Library (4 copies), n.d
[box: 3, folder/item: 3/2] browse
Letter to Mr. W.J. Trent, Secretary, YMCA, Atlanta, GA, Jan. 29, 1917 from George T. Settle, Librarian, Louisville Free Public Library. Re: Establishment of colored branches, 1917
[box: 3, folder/item: 4/1] browse
The Southern Workman, November 1926, article p.486, Blue's attendance at ALA noted, 1926
[box: 3, folder/item: 5/1] browse

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