Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers,

Descriptive Summary

Title
Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers,
Creator
Blue, Reverend Thomas Fountain, 1866-1935
Extent
3 boxes.
Subjects
Blue, Thomas Fountain
African Americans -- Kentucky.
African Americans -- Kentucky - Louisville
African Americans -- Segregation
African American librarians.
African Americans and libraries.
African Americans and libraries - Kentucky -- Louisville.
Branch libraries - Kentucky -- Louisville.
Louisville Free Public Library.
Louisville Free Public Library -- History
Louisville Free Public Library -- Western Branch.
Libraries -- Kentucky -- Louisville
Libraries -- Special collections -- African Americans.
Segregation -- Kentucky -- Louisville
Western Colored Branch
Preferred Citation
LFP_rblue : [identification of item], Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers, Louisville Free Public Library.
Repository
Louisville Free Public Library

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Reverend Thomas F. Blue, the nation's first African-American to head a public library, was a respected leader in the civic, religious, and educational life of the Louisville black community.
The son of former slaves, Blue was born in Farmville, Virginia. He graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1888 and Richmond Theological Seminary. In 1905 he was selected to lead the Western Branch Library of the Louisville Free Public Library, the first public library in the nation to serve African-American patrons with an exclusively African-American staff. In 1914, Mr. Blue opened Louisville's second Carnegie branch library for African-Americans, the Eastern Branch Library. In 1919, with the addition of the two new branches, a "Colored Department" was created, the first example of such an organization in any public library system in the United States. Blue was made head of the department which included eight assistants. In addition to the two Carnegie branch buildings, this Department included two junior high schools, 15 stations and 80 classroom collections in 29 buildings -- a total of 99 centers for the circulation of books for home use in 46 buildings in Louisville and Jefferson County. Rev. Blue established an apprentice class for those wanting to enter library service that drew students from as far away as Houston and led to the establishment of the Hampton Library School in Virginia. From 1905 until his death 30 years later, Rev. Thomas F. Blue served the Louisville Free Public Library, achieving national recognition as a pioneer in the field of public service.
Scope and Content
The Collection includes handwritten and typed notes, addresses, and articles about library work written and/or presented by Rev. Blue; articles and resolutions about his life and career; photos of Rev. Blue, his staff and his diplomas.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the Louisville Free Public Library.

Contents of the Collection

General

Thomas Fountain Blue, Pioneer Librarian, 1866-1935, thesis by Lilian Taylor Wright. , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 1/1
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Copy of Wright thesis , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 1/2
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Biographical entry, source unknown, cut from book? , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 2/1
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Biography, author unknown, no date , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 3/1
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Death, burial, and cemetery documents for Thomas Fountain Blue and Albert Meyzeek , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 4/1
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Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 , 1935

  • Box 1, folder/item 5/1
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Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 (copy…

  • Box 1, folder/item 5/2
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Resolution on death of Thomas Fountain Blue, Library Board of Trustees, November 20, 1935 (copy…

  • Box 1, folder/item 5/3
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Biography, author unknown , n.d.

  • Box 1, folder/item 6/1
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Correspondence

Letter to Thomas F. Blue from Monroe N. Work, editor, Negro Year Book, April 6, 1920 , 1920

  • Box 1, folder/item 7/1
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Letter to Miss M.E. Ahern, Chicago, IL, Dec. 21, 1923. Re: Training of librarians , 1923

  • Box 1, folder/item 7/2
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Letter to Thomas F. Blue from Benjamin Brawley, editor, The Home Mission College Review, May 19…

  • Box 1, folder/item 7/3
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Letter to Harold F. Brigham, Louisville Free Public Library, March 22, 1935. Re: theological library…

  • Box 1, folder/item 7/4
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Writings

"Public Library work with negroes" handwritten notes , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 1/1
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"Mr. T.F. Blue on American Library Association Program" Transcribed article from Louisville Leader…

  • Box 2, folder/item 1/2
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"Work with the Negro Roundtable" article from The Southern Workman , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 1/3
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Address (Incomplete, unknown event or audience) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/1
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Address of Thomas F. Blue at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of Wayland Institute…

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/2
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Address of Thomas F. Blue at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the founding of Wayland Institute…

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/3
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Paper, "Making the Library Known to the Community" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/4
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Address (unknown event or audience) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/5
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Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library Making the Library known to the Community…

  • Box 2, folder/item 2/6
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Typescript for article published in Opportunity (journal published by National Urban League), August…

  • Box 2, folder/item 3/1
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Article published in Opportunity (journal published by National Urban League), August, 1924, pp. 244…

  • Box 2, folder/item 4/1
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"Examination For Admission to the Library Service in the Colored Branch" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 5/1
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Letter to Department of the Interior, Bureau of Education, March 7, 1917 , 1917

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/1
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History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/2
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History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/3
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History of the Colored Branch "Colored Branch Library Work in Louisville" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/4
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Tenth Annual Report of Louisville Free Public Library, August 31, 1914 , 1914

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/5
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"The Story Hour." Address delivered before the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/6
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"The Story Hour." Address delivered before the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/7
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"Arousing Community Interest in the Library" Address. Library Conference - Hampton Institute, March…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/8
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"Methods in Library Circulation" , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/9
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Program from Staff Meeting, Program by Colored Staff, Tuesday March 16, 1926, 9 a.m. Main Library…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/10
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"A Successful Library Experiment (Page 244) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/11
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Welcome Address on Behalf of Louisville Citizens Delivered by Thomas F. Blue to the Kentucky Negro…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/12
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"The Library as a Community Center" Address delivered to Library Conference Hampton Institute, March…

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/13
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Life Culture Review , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 6/14
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Biographical notes

Brief Biography on Thomas Fountain Blue , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/1
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On the Library as an Aid to Public Instruction , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/2
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Circulation Records in Library Work , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/3
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Teaching Negro History , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/4
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History of the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/5
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Library Training Class, Classification and Arrangement of Book (notes) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/6
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Colored Library Work (notes) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/7
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Library Publicity (notes) , n.d.

  • Box 2, folder/item 7/8
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Blue's Work at Western Branch

Adult Booklist , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/1
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Juvenile Booklist , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/2
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Booklist, Additional books suggested for the Central Colored High School , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/3
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Booklist, Additional books suggested for the Central Colored High School , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/4
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A list of books selected from titles in the Western Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public…

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/5
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Booklist, Louisville Free Public Library Children's and School Department , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 1/6
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Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1911. , 1911

  • Box 3, folder/item 2/1
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Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1912. , 1912

  • Box 3, folder/item 2/2
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Annual Report of the Western Colored Branch for the year ending August 31, 1913. , 1913

  • Box 3, folder/item 2/3
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Booklet, Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 3/1
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Booklet, Colored Department Louisville Free Public Library (4 copies) , n.d.

  • Box 3, folder/item 3/2
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Letter to Mr. W.J. Trent, Secretary, YMCA, Atlanta, GA, Jan. 29, 1917 from George T. Settle…

  • Box 3, folder/item 4/1
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The Southern Workman, November 1926, article p.486, Blue's attendance at ALA noted. , 1926

  • Box 3, folder/item 5/1
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