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Series I: Library Administration, Personnel and Teaching Records, 1928-1958
Series IV: Alumni Advisory Committee of the Columbia University School of Library Service, 1946-1959
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 How ever much of his professional papers and lectures remained unpublished.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.