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COLLECTION Identifier: A-73; M-74

Papers of Linda Anne Eastman, 1925-1958


Correspondence, writings, biographical material, etc., of Linda Anne Eastman, first woman to head a metropolitan library system in the United States.


  • 1925-1958

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Access. Originals are closed; use microfilm M-74.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Linda Anne Eastman as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


.21 linear feet (1/2 file box)
This collection includes biographical articles, awards, correspondence, writings by Linda Anne Eastman, and an M.A. thesis on Linda Anne Eastman by Alice Wright.


Linda Anne Eastman, librarian of the Cleveland Public Library (1918-1938), was born in Oberlin, Ohio on July 17, 1867. While still a child she moved to Cleveland with her parents, William Harvey Eastman and Sarah (Redrup) Eastman. After graduating from West High School, Eastman taught in the Cleveland public schools for seven years (1885-1892). In 1892 she became an assistant in the Cleveland Public Library. After serving as assistant librarian and cataloguer in the Dayton Public Library (1895-1896), she returned to the Cleveland Public Library and became vice-librarian to William H. Brett. Eastman succeeded Brett as librarian after his death in 1918, and remained in this position until her retirement in November 1938.

The first woman to head a metropolitan library system in the United States, Eastman helped develop adult education programs, the open shelf system, school and children's libraries, and a book distribution program for shut-ins. She continued a tradition of innovation and excellence which made the Cleveland Public Library one of the best libraries in the United States.

Eastman was an instructor (1904-1918) and a professor (1918-1937) at Western Reserve University's School of Library Science and the author of many articles on the management and purposes of libraries. She was a member of numerous library associations, and served on the council and executive board, and as president (1928-1929) of the American Library Association. She was also active in social reform and women's organizations, including the League of Women Voters and the Women's City Club of Cleveland, of which she was a charter member and first vice-president (1920).

Eastman received many awards in recognition of her outstanding contributions as the Cleveland Public Library librarian, among them honorary degrees from Oberlin College (M.A., 1924), Western Reserve University (LL.D., 1928), and Mount Holyoke College (Litt.D., 1933).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 59-37

The papers of Linda Anne Eastman were given to the Schlesinger Library in April 1959 byLinda Anne Eastman.

Processing Information

Re-processed: November 1977

By: Katherine Kraft
Link to catalog
Eastman, Linda Anne, 1867-1963. Papers of Linda Anne Eastman, 1925-1958: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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