William Frederick Poole

Poole, William Frederick, 1821–94, American librarian, bibliographer, and historian, b. Essex co., Mass. Poole was librarian of the Boston Athenæum (1856–69), of the public libraries of Cincinnati (1871–73) and Chicago (1874–87), and of the Newberry Library (1887–94). A pioneer in theories of library administration, he assisted in organizing many libraries, including the Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library, and the library of the U.S. Naval Academy. A founder of the American Library Association (1876), he was later its president. He compiled the first general index to U.S. periodicals, Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1848), and edited two other editions (1853, 1882). Later editions were edited by W. J. Fletcher; the last appeared in 1907. This index was replaced by the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. Among Poole's numerous writings are monographs on American history, including Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft (1869) and Anti-Slavery Opinions before 1800 (1873).

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