A Pictorial History: The University of Iowa Libraries – Frederick Humphrey


September 1856 – 1858

Frederick Humphrey was a professor of mathematics when he was appointed librarian.  He found “145 volumes and nineteen lexicons, un-numbered and unlabeled, thickly covered with dust and lying upon the floor in one corner of a recitation room” in the Mechanics’ Academy.  Humphrey arranged and classified these first volumes of the library, and went on to provide for the growth of the collection, such as getting Congressional approval for the university to receive all government documents published in Washington DC.  In 1857 Humphrey made the first request for the appointment of a librarian and the establishment of general regulations for the library.