Thursday, May 9, 2013


Leonora Hinsdale was one of a small group of Catholic parishioners who assisted in the organization of the Cathedral Free Library, which opened in 1888.  Also in the group was her cousin E. Corrine Doughty  (1859-1933), who would later head three NYPL branches.

In 1905, the CFL consolidated with NYPL, and Hinsdale was named First Assistant at the Cathedral Branch.  In 1909 Hinsdale was promoted to Branch Librarian at the Columbus Branch and later headed the Hamilton Grange Branch until her retirement in 1936.

For most of her life, Hinsdale lived with two other NYPL librarians.  As early as 1880 she lived with her cousin E. Corinne Doughty and continued to do so until Doughty’s death in 1933.  From at least 1910 Mary C. Griffin (1866-????) also lived with the two cousins.  Griffin served as First Assistant under Hinsdale at both the Columbus and Hamilton Grange branches, and the two librarians retired on the same day in 1936.  They are listed in the 1940 census as “partners” indicating they told the census taker that they shared expenses equally.

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