Publication Date

Fall 2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS)


Library and Information Science


Debra Hansen

Subject Areas

Biography.; History, United States.; Library Science.


In the following thesis, I will argue that Frederick Beecher Perkins is an overlooked figure in library history who deserves to be listed among the great library pioneers. Perkins was involved with many of the people, organizations, and major debates that shaped the field of librarianship in the late 1800s. He was associated with such figures as Melvil Dewey and Justin Winsor. He was involved in the critical issues of the day such as best reading, cataloging and classifying books, and administering libraries. He also played a role in important organizations and libraries such as the American Library Association, the Boston Public Library, and the San Francisco Public Library. Perkins was a major voice in the important debates taking place in library science and produced a large body of work that established a strong foundation upon which the library profession grew.