A Pictorial History: The University of Iowa Libraries – Bertha Gilchrist Ridgway


1898 – 1903

Born in Philadelphia in 1866, Ridgway was an assistant in the Detroit Public Library from 1884-1885.  Her father was James Grant Gilchrist, a professor of surgery and homeopathy at the UI.  Ridgway had been an assistant librarian at Iowa since 1891, and was constantly commended as giving faithful and efficient service to the library in reports by Joseph Rich.  At one point Rich had given her exclusive charge of the reading room and book room.  Ridgway completed in her term as head librarian the complete cataloging of the medical library, which was then entirely lost in a fire in March 1901; and also began cataloging the 3,000 pamphlets in the library.