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I Heart Paul Leicester Ford

Anna Berkes

Well, it's the 144th birthday of Paul Leicester Ford.  I know you're asking, who the heck's that guy?  (Or maybe you're not, if you work at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson/Retirement Series).  But perhaps you don't know about all the fascinating and cool things he did, so I'll tell you:

  • published his first book at the age of 11 (and by "published," I mean actually churned it out on his own printing press)
  • served as editor of Library Journal from 1890 to 1893, during which time he suggested to the runners-of-libraries such innovative ideas as interlibrary loan and union catalogs
  • ferreted out and published heretofore-buried documents from American and European libraries and private collections
  • published a really-quite-good edition of Jefferson's writings, along with 62 other books and pamphlets and 54 articles
  • was murdered by his own brother at the age of 37

Wait, what?! Nooooo! What a loss to the world. Here's to you, Paul Leicester Ford: you were a pretty neat guy.

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