Monday, August 29, 2011


Anna M. Wallace was one of a dozen Catholics who headed an NYPL branch, 1901-1950.

Anna Wallace had no higher education and no formal library training, but she and her sister Agnes were among a small group of volunteers who helped organize the Cathedral Free Library in 1887-1888.  Agnes became head librarian for the CFL, which eventually grew to have five branches.  Anna was promoted to head the Amsterdam Avenue Branch in 1902.  The CFL consolidated with NYPL as of January 1, 1905.

Upon consolidation, Agnes left to become a public school teacher.  Anna continued to head the Amsterdam Avenue Branch until 1907 when it was replaced by a new Carnegie building and renamed Hamilton Grange.  Anna headed the Hamilton Grange Branch until her death in 1920.

Mary L. Wallace, niece of Anna and Agnes, joined NYPL in 1909 and initially worked under Anna Wallace at Hamilton Grange.  She was promoted to Branch Librarian in 1941.

Today would be Anna Wallace’s 153rd birthday.

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