Group reading -- South Africa -- History -- 20th century.
History -- Study and teaching -- South Africa.
Nationalism -- South Africa -- History -- 20th century.
Imperialism -- History -- 20th century.
This article examines the regulation of reading by two home reading unions operating in South Africa from 1900 to 1914. It challenges the view that reading is primarily regulated to sustain and support a particular economic order. The emphasis falls on cultural, gender, and political factors that mediated imperial and colonial views of guided reading during a fluid period in South African history.
Daniel Murray, well-known librarian, bibliographer, and historian, was one of the first Afro-Americans to work as a librarian at the Library of Congress in 1871. Although not formally educated in the profession, he rose to the position of assistant librarian before he retired in 1923. In 1899 Murray organized an exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition on Negro authors. Under his direction his award-winning exhibit became the core of the Library of Congress's Colored Author Collection. Although Murray's attempt to publish an encyclopedia of Afro-Americans' achievements was not successful, it laid the groundwork for others to eventually publish multivolume encyclopedias about the Negro race. Murray was also a prolific author and a frequent contributor to Afro-American journals. This essay seeks to illustrate the historical and sociopolitical contributions of Daniel Murray as they reflect the path toward an Afrocentric consciousness.
The history of women in the West includes little about women as librarians. Librarians who came West were looking for professional and administrative opportunities away from the established centers of library authority in the East. Western states hired state library organizers to oversee library development. The women who accepted these positions enjoyed professional autonomy, responsibility, and power unavailable to other professional women. Mary Elizabeth Downey was one such librarian. This study gives a voice to these women and provides insight into the western American social and cultural environment that permitted them to attain this level of public power.