Skip to main content

George Watson Cole papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 143

Scope and Contents

Manuscripts, notes, working papers, correspondence, and other papers of George Watson Cole, bibliographer and librarian. Most of the papers pertain to various bibliographic problems and topics that Cole was interested in. There is also some material relating to his work as librarian for the Henry E. Huntington Library.

Dates

  • 1883-1935

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Cole estate and the American Antiquarian Society, 1942-1944.

Arrangement

Arranged in two series: I. Manuscripts. II. Subject File.

Extent

4 Linear Feet (11 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0143

Overview

Manuscripts, notes, working papers, correspondence, and other papers of George Watson Cole, bibliographer and librarian. Most of the papers pertain to various bibliographic problems and topics that Cole was interested in. There is also some material relating to his work as librarian for the Henry E. Huntington Library.

Biographical / Historical

George Watson Cole was born at Warren, Conn., September 6, 1850. His early education was received in the public schools of his native county and at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. After teaching school for four years, during which time he read Law, he was admitted to the bar in 1876 and practiced law in his native county until 1885, when he abandoned law to engage in library work.

During 1885 and 1886 he compiled the printed Classified Catalogue of the Fitchburg (Mass.) Public Library. From Fitchburg he went to New York in the autumn of 1886 to become the Librarian of the Pratt Institute of Brooklyn; at the same time he attended the Library School at Columbia University, from which he was graduated in 1888. For the next three years he was connected with the Newberry Library in Chicago, which he left in January 1891 to become the Librarian of the Free Public Library of Jersey City, N.J., then being organized. In December 1895, because of ill-health, Mr. Cole resigned his position as Librarian and devoted the next three years to travel.

On his return to this country he became interested in bibliography; in December 1901, he began compilation of the extensive and valuable collection of American and English Literature and Miscellany in the Library of the late E. Dwight Church, of Brooklyn. The result of his labors was a catalogue comprising seven volumes, containing in all 3,789 pages, with 1,755 facsimiles of title pages, colophons and other interesting features of the collection.

In October 1915, Cole became Librarian of Henry E. Huntington's collection, then housed in New York. He continued to hold the position after the collection was transferred in 1920 to the present location of the Huntington Library in California.

In 1924 he became Librarian Emeritus. Thereafter he continued to publish articles and books on bibliographical and other topics. He died on October 10, 1939.
Title
Guide to the George Watson Cole Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
compiled and edited by Steven Litwack and Peter Sargent
Date
August 1970
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)

Location

Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours