Name and location of repository
Level of description
John Boynton Kaiser Papers
(2.9 cubic feet)
Name of creator
John Boynton Kaiser was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1887. He received his B.A. in 1908 from the Western Reserve University, and later Kaiser studied at the New York State Library School in Albany, N.Y., where he received his B.L.S. in 1910 and M.L.S. in 1917.
After graduating, Kaiser began his career at the New York State Law Library. He became the assistant state librarian in charge of legislative services at the Texas State Library from 1910-11. He served as the departmental librarian in economics and sociology at the University of Illinois from 1911-1914. Kaiser was the director of the Tacoma Public Library from 1914 to 1924. However, during World War I, Kaiser served as the camp librarian at Camp Knox in Kentucky and Camp Upton in New York from 1918-1919. He left Tacoma to become the University of Iowa Libraries director and was in charge of their library school. Then in 1927, he took a position as director of the Oakland Public Library until 1943, when he became director of the Newark Public Library. While director of the Oakland Public Library, Kaiser was "also responsible for the Oakland Public Museum, the Snow Museum, and the Oakland Art Gallery." Kaiser retired from Newark Public Library in 1958.
Kaiser wrote many publications, including The National Bibliographies of the South American Republics (1913), Law Legislative and Municipal Reference Libraries, an Introductory Manual and Bibliographical Guide (1914) and Legal Aspects of Library Administration (1958). In addition, Kaiser served as president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, the California Library Association, the New Jersey Library Association, and the New York State Library School Association. He was vice president of the American Library Association and executive director of the American Documentation Institute. Kaiser passed away on September 30, 1973 in Florida.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
Includes correspondence, reports, research files, and other documentation related to Kaiser's work as the Director of Tacoma Public Library and as a leader in national, regional, and state library associations. Research files and related correspondence are also included in the papers, particularly on the topics of school librarians and the restoration of the name of Mount Tahoma. As Library Director during World War I and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, Kaiser's papers also intersect with these topics and their impact on libraries.