James Humphry III (Librarian 1947-1957)

President Bixler announced the appointment of James Humphry III as college librarian in January 1947. Born in Harrison NY, Humphry entered Harvard University in 1935 and became interested in librarianship while working in the Harvard Library. Graduating from Harvard in 1939, he was hired for a full time position at the New York Public Library. He completed in B.S. degree at the Columbia University School of Library Service in 1941.

In January 1942, Humphry joined the Armed Services. After serving 50 months in the Field Artillery, he returned to the NYPL in 1946 as chief of the Map Division.

Students in Miller reading room 1950s

Students in Miller Library reading room in the 1950s. Librarian Warner enacted new smoking rules to protect library materials and to create a comfortable place for studying.

As the Colby Librarian, Humphry developed the college library within the new Miller Library building, which was being completed. In January 1948, with support from the Student Council and other campus constituencies, he enacted new smoking rules in the library that curtailed smoking in the stacks, stairways and most reading areas. In October 1948, he announced that the stacks on the second, third and fourth floors would now be open for student perusal.

Humphry was recalled to active military service in 1952, returning to campus in June 1954 with Associate Librarian Elizabeth Libbey serving in his absence. Humphry was active in the Maine Library Association and acted as Chairmen of the New England Librarian Society.

LIBRARIAN HUMPHRY AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

He compiled the bibliographic details for The Library of Edwin Arlington Robinson, published by the Colby College Press in 1950. He acted as Secretary of the Colby Library Associates through his tenure as college librarian. After the relocation of materials to the Treasure Room in Miller Library, Humphry oversaw resolution of a number of facilities-related issues in consultation with Curator Carl Weber.

Works consulted:

Annual Report of the Librarian, 1947-1957. Colbiana Collection. Colby College Special Collections.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. 29 January 1947. Web. 4 March 2015.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. 14 January 1948. Web. 4 March 2015.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. 24 March 1948. Web. 4 March 2015.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. 27 October 1948. Web. 4 March 2015.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. 10 November 1950. Web. 4 March 2015.