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Countryman, Gratia Alta, undated, 1889, 1923, 1951.

 File — Box: 5
Gratia Alta Countryman was born on November 29, 1866 in Hastings, Minnesota. She received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Minnesota in 1889. In October 1889, Countryman took a position at the Minnesota Public Library; the following year, she was promoted to the head of the catalog department, and two years later, in 1892, she was appointed assistant librarian to James K. Hosmer. In 1904, she became chief librarian, a position she held until her retirement at the age of seventy in 1936.

Countryman worked with three legislatures to rally support for the 1899 legislation which made it possible for towns and villages throughout the state to establish and maintain their own libraries and which established a state library commission and traveling libraries for service to rural districts. She was influential in the passage of similar legislation in Wisconsin, and from 1899-1918, she served as recording secretary of the Minnesota Library Commission. She was also elected a Fellow of the American Library Institute in 1906, and served in a number of capacities in the American Library Association, including the presidency from 1933-1934. Countryman died on July 26, 1953 in Duluth, Minnesota.


  • undated, 1889, 1923, 1951.

Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


From the Collection: 8.15 Cubic Feet (6 boxes; 1 hollinger; 1 flat box)


Collecting Area Details

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