Biography of Arthur Bourne Smith Ph. B., B. L. S.

Arthur Bourne Smith, Ph. B., B. L. S. The degree following Mr. Smith’s name means Bachelor of Library Science. He is librarian for the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. That position he has held since 1911 and is a librarian of wide experience and has done much to make the library at Manhattan accessible and useful not only to the students of the Agricultural College but to all who use it for reference purposes.

Mr. Smith was born at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, August 2, 1873. He is a son of Charles Wesley Smith, now deceased, and Hester (Bourne) Smith, who now resides with her youngest son at Seattle, Washington. The father, who was born in Pennsylvania of German lineage, at the age of seventeen enlisted in a Pennsylvania regiment in defense of the Union. He gave four of the best years of his early life to that cause. After the war he located at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and became head of a lumber and mercantile corporation which he had helped organize. It was a very successful business but ill health compelled him to resign his place there, and on leaving the South he removed to Elmira, New York, where he was a merchant until his death at the early age of thirty-five. He left a widow and four children. The children are Walter L.; Winnogene; Arthur B. and Charles Wesley Smith. Their mother was born in Pennsylvania, and comes of an old New England family of English lineage.

Soon after the father’s death the widowed mother and her children moved to a farm in Tioga County, New York. That was the scene of Arthur B. Smith’s early experiences. At the age of sixteen he was able [p.1725] to obtain a teacher’s license, and then began his work in the rural schools of New York. In 1895 he graduated from the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary at Lima, New York. In the meantime from 1892 to 1895 he was librarian in charge of the seminary. That experience gave the permanent bent to his subsequent career. In 1895-96 he was principal of the public school of Smithboro, New York. During 1896-1900 he was library assistant in the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut, and was graduated Ph. B. from that university in 1900. During 1900-02 he was assistant in the University of Illinois library, and there continued his studies in library science and was given the degree B. L. S. in 1902.

From June to September, 1902, Mr. Smith assisted in editing the Cumulative Book Index, United States Catalogue and Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. In 1903 he became lecturer on bibliography in the University of California, and in that institution was head of the order department of the library from 1902 to 1911, head of accession division of the library during July and August, 1911, and instructor in summer schools in 1906 and 1907. In 1911 Mr. Smith came to Kansas and became librarian of the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan. He is a member of the Kansas, the California and the American Library associations, and is treasurer of the Kansas Library Association. He is also a member of the Kansas State Teachers Association and belongs to the Delta Tau Delta, Greek letter fraternity. He is a Methodist. In 1902 he married Miss Mary Read of Delavan, New York.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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