Thursday, July 28, 2011


Augusta Markowitz was born in Hungary 130 years ago today and came to the US in 1885.  She became a naturalized citizen in 1891. 

Markowitz started library work in 1897 as a substitute in the Aguilar Free Library Society and became an NYPL staff member in 1903 when the AFLS merged with NYPL.  At NYPL she served as First Assistant at Avenue C (which had been one of the four AFLS branches) and Tompkins Square (the name of the new Carnegie building which replaced the Avenue C Branch). 

Markowitz was promoted to Branch Librarian in 1908 and headed the Hamilton Fish Park Branch (1908-1913) and the Woodstock Branch (1913-1944).   The latter served a Hungarian community during most of Markowitz’s tenure.

Augusta Markowitz was noted for building up the Hungarian collections at NYPL and also operated the non-commercial Hungarian Book Service, 1928-1948, which represented Hungarian publishers and produced annotated lists of new Hungarian books to help US libraries serve their Hungarian users.

In 1934 the Hungarian government gave Markowitz its Red Cross Award of Merit for her work promoting Hungarian literature.

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