Rare Book & Manuscript Library

John Boynton Kaiser papers, 1928-1971

Series III: Other Institutions and Associations, 1945-1949

The present collection of John Boynton Kaiser's Papers at Columbia is only a partial one, representing but some of the highlights in the career of a man whose Interests ranged from stamp-collecting, to roses to books, and, of course, to libraries. It was with the latter that the major portion of his career was concerned.

Director of the Newark Public Library for fifteen years, from 1943 to 1958, and involved prior to that with library work in California, he wrote, spoke and lectured on all the ramifications of library administration, library personnel and library school training. An annotated bibliography of his published works was produced upon his retirement from the Newark Library. How ever much of his professional papers and lectures remained unpublished. Series III of the Columbia collection provides some insight into the manner in which Mr. Kaiser went about preparing his lectures, and in many instances outlines and rough drafts of parts of his speeches.

There is nothing of a personal nature in this series, with the exception of one very brief scrap memo from his son with respect to bibliography for one of his speeches (See Folder 5c, Item 7/5c) which would indicate that he maintained a paternal as well as professional relationship there. One letter, to the President of Bambergers Store in the same folder (33/5e) speaks of visiting a rose display there with his wife, indicating that she traveled with him, and giving evidence in the letter itself of the inherent courtesy of the man, considerate enough to write complimenting the manager of a store in another country. This same consideration is reflected in other letters in this collection, wherein he wrote to managers of various hotels, expressing appreciation of the accommodations afforded him.

The major concerns reflected in Series III are, however, professional. He was intensely interested in the problems of library personnel in all its aspects, and this is reflected in his letters, memoranda as well as speeches. It is also interesting to note his meticulous care of spending library funds, a matter clearly shown in his own expense sheets — he even kept his railroad tickets!

N.B. Although there are probably many pictures available of Mr. Kaiser in Newark, the only one in this collection is in a newspaper article, Series III in which the demeanor appears to be one of intellect and restraint.

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Box 5 Folder 1 Library Institute at University of Chicago, July 25, 1945

Correspondence; Chicago University lodging forms, personal memo.

Box 5 Folder 2a-2c Drexel Institute of Technology Speech, May 13, 1948

2a: 9 sheets of correspondence, numbered 1/2a-9/2a.

2b: 24 sheets of three memoranda to Mr. Kaiser's staff in the Newark Public Library with respect to matters of library school training, personnel, etc., to be used in connection with the speech at Drexel, and the replies. Numbered 1/2b to 24/2b.

2c: 10 handwritten notes for speech, numbered 1/2c to 10/2c; 10 leaves of typed notes for speech, numbered 11/2c to 20/2c; Bibliographic references for speech, consisting of 4 mimeographed sheets, numbered 21/2c to 24/2c; 1 typed sheet, numbered 25/2c and 7 pamphlets.

Box 5 Folder 3 New Jersey Special Libraries Association speech: New Jersey Library Association and the Newark Library, December 07, 1948

2 record units - 8 sheets of correspondence and memoranda, numbered 1-8/FL.8 leaves of typewritten notes

Box 5 Folder 4a-4d Western New York Library Association Speech: Current Library Personnel Problems, February 07, 1949

4a: 16 sheets of memoranda and/or notes for the speech, numbered 1/4a to 16/4a; 5 sheets of questionnaires, numbered 17/4a to 22/4a; 1 pamphlet, numbered 23/4a.

4b: 4 sheets of handwritten outlines for the speech numbered 3/4b to 4/4b; 2 sheets of typewritten outline for speech, with differing notations, numbered 5/4b and 6/4b.

4c: Rough draft notes of various parts of the speech -13 typed pages numbered 1/4 c to 13/4c.

4d: Correspondence.

Box 5 Folder 5a-5e McGill University Speech, April 22, 1949

5a: 46 typed topical notes for speech numbered 1/5a to 46/5a; 4 handwritten memoranda, numbered 47/5a to 50/5a; 2 newspaper clippings pertinent to subject matter of the speech, numbered 51/5a and 52/5a.

5b: Handwritten outline notes for speech, numbered 1/5b to 11/5b; One typewritten outline, numbered 12/5b; 3 mimeographed sheets of outline numbered 13/5b to 15/5b.

5c: Bibliography and memoranda re bibliography numbered 1/5c to 8/5c; index cards for individual monographs numbered 9/5c to 29/5c; 3 mimeographed papers of lists of books numbered 30/5c to 32/5c; 2 typed lists of titles numbered 33/5c to 34/5c.

5d: 10 pamphlets of reference material for speech.

5e: Correspondence re speech and Canadian trip, miscellaneous; Correspondence Grace Reynolds, Secretary McGill Library School 3/23/1948 to 5/16/1949; Correspondence with John Donovan re publishing speech. Memorabilia: railroad schedule to Canada.

Box 5 Folder 6a Eastern Regional Conference of Civil Service Assembly, 1946

Correspondence Henry J. McFarland, Director, New York State Dept. of Civil Service 2/25/1946; Correspondence William Summers, Assistant Manager, Princeton Inn 1/31/1946

Box 5 Folder 6b Social Research, 1948

Correspondence with Dr. Burleigh B. Gardner, Executive Director of Social Research August 9, 1948; Sundry articles and pamphlets; All of the above numbered 1/6b to 12/6b

Box 5 Folder 6c Library Trends in library administration, 1958

Correspondence with Ernest Reece 2/14/1958; re article on current trends in library administration Numbered 1/6c to 5/6c

Box 5 Folder 7 Miscellaneous

7 handwritten notes on short yellow pages; 3 pamphlets