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Harold Garfield Russell papers

Identifier: ua00383

Scope and Content

The collection contains both personal and professional materials, primarily consisting of manuscripts and correspondence. Professional correspondence includes University Librarians Frank Walter and E.W. McDiarmid, James Ford Bell and John Parker, the American Library Association, Minnesota Historical Society, as well as various Library departments on campus. The files have been maintained in their original alphabetical order.


  • 1924-1956


Language of Materials

Collection material in English

Access to Materials

This collection is stored at an off-site facility and requires 3-5 business days for retrieval. Email to request access. Do not make travel arrangements or plans to visit Andersen Library without making prior arrangements with University Archives staff.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical Sketch of Harold Garfield Russell (1889-1956)

Harold G. Russell, Bachelor’s Degree, Hobart College; professional degree, New York State Library School (1917). Head, Circulation Department (1919-1921); Head, Acquisitions Department (1921-1932); Instructor and Assistant Professor (1924-1944); Chief Reference Librarian (1932-1952); Associate Professor (1944-1956); Assistant Director of Libraries (1952-1956); University of Minnesota Libraries.

Harold Russell was born November 5, 1889 in Potsdam, New York. He received a bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and a professional degree in library science in 1917 from the New York State Library School. Following an appointment as an assistant in the New York State Library and service in the military, Professor Russell was named head of the circulation department in 1919 at the University of Minnesota Libraries. He was named head of acquisitions in 1921 and in 1932 became the University Libraries’ chief reference librarian. In 1952, he was appointed Assistant Director of Libraries with responsibility for collections and bibliographic services, a position he held until his death in 1956.

In 1924, Professor Russell began teaching library science at the University in addition to his professional and administrative duties for University Libraries. He served as an instructor and assistant professor from 1924 to 1944, at which time he was appointed associate professor in the Division of Library Instruction.

Professor Russell was active in several national and local professional organizations. He served on the American Library Association’s Council (governing body), Membership Committee, and Nominating Committee. He was chair of the Association’s committee to revise the interlibrary loan code (1939-1940). And he chaired the Committee on Needed Reference Tools of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Professor Russell was an active member of the Minnesota Library Association, serving as the first chair of its Reference Section, and he served as president of the Twin City Library Club.

Harold Russell died April 24, 1956 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


2.0 Cubic Feet (2)


This collection contains the papers of Harold G. Russell, chief reference librarian, assistant director for Libraries Collection and Biographic services, and associate professor at the University of Minnesota.

Physical Location

Off-site (WBOB)

Source of acquisition

The source of acquisition for the Harold Russell collection is unknown.

Harold Garfield Russell Papers, 1924-1956
Archives staff
July 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area