Librarians and Archivists

Margaret Mann


Margaret Mann. Folder "Individuals,
L-M." Box 35, UM School of Information

Though not a University Librarian, Mann shaped the library profession and practices through her role as Professor of Library Science. From 1926 until 1948, Mann was integral to the program of library education at the University of Michigan. Prior to her years at Michigan, Mann worked as a cataloger, assistant librarian, and instructor in library science at the University of Illinois from 1897-1902. As Head of the Cataloging Department at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh, Mann would have ample time to refine her cataloging principles during the years she held this position, 1902-1919. She worked in New York City from 1919-1924 at the Engineering Society Library before taking a two-year teaching position at Ècole de Bibliothécaires in Paris, France until 1926, when she joined the faculty at the University of Michigan as Assistant Professor of Library Science. The department of library science was inaugurated in 1926; Mann was one of three full-time professors hired at the department's inception. She made Associate Professor the following year, in 1927.


Library science study hall, 1928. Student Edith Wilson
in foreground. Folder "Early Library Scenes" Box 35, UM
School of Information records. Click to enlarge.

In 1938, Mann was granted Emeritus status and allowed to retire from active teaching duty. Emeritus status was the Regents' gesture of recognizing "the distinguished service which Professor Mann has rendered to the Department of Library Science during the past twelve years as a result of her notable abilities and achievements in her chosen field and her unusual facility for placing the results of her professional experience at the service of the students of the department."1 A press release announcing a professorship established in Mann's name praised Mann's teaching abilities, writing that she was "a brilliant tactician in the classroom; her class sessions were unfailingly stimulating. She organized her material in logical progression and presented in with force, clarity, and enthusiasm."2


School of Library Studies, 1940 Spring Banquet. Folder "Class photographs, 1940s." Box 34, UM School of Information records. Click to enlarge.

filing chair

1930s filing chair, a helpful tool
used to maintain the labor-intensive
card catalog. Folder "Library Scenes."
Box 35, UM School of Information

The American Library Association awarded her honorable mention for the Lippincott award in 1938, which recognizes "distinguished service to the profession of librarianship, such service to include outstanding participation in the activities of the professional library association, notable published professional writing, or other significant activity on behalf of the profession and its aims."2 In explaining their decision, the committee wrote in the June 1938 ALA newsletter that "Miss Margaret Mann, associate professor in the department of library science of the University of Michigan to whom the library profession is deeply indebted for her notable contribution to the science of cataloging and the training of catalogers."4

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