Dissertation Information for Holly Crawford
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Freedom through books: Helen Haines and her role in the library press, library education, and the intellectual freedom movement
Abstract: This dissertation examines the life of Helen E. Haines (1872-1961) based on her voluminous personal correspondence and papers (Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley), the Richard Rogers Bowker papers (New York Public Library), and, among others, the American Library Association Archives (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Beginning with her childhood in Brooklyn, which was influenced by her father's Quakerism and her mother's home schooling, Haines became a staunch advocate of books as a means to opportunity, equality, and freedom. This belief was strengthened by experience in the book trade under her first employer, Richard Rogers Bowker, and then broadened by her membership in the American Library Association, for whom she served as Recorder (1894-1908). She later promoted this belief in her two major works, Living with Books (1935, 1950) and What's in a Novel (1942), and effectively infused it into her courses on book selection at four library schools (Los Angeles Public Library Training School, University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, and University of Southern California). It came to be challenged while working extensively with Intellectual Freedom Committees at the state and national level. For her lifelong commitment to library service and to equal access to all books, Haines was widely revered among librarians, but she was also vilified during the McCarthy era. Her legacy, particularly with regard to intellectual freedom, can still be seen today.
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