Thomas R. Adams

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Thomas Randolph Adams (May 22, 1921 – December 1, 2008) was librarian of the John Carter Brown Library and John Hay Professor of Bibliography and University Bibliographer at Brown University.

John Carter Brown Library research library in Providence, Rhode Island, United States

The John Carter Brown Library is an independently funded research library of history and the humanities on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. The library's rare book, manuscript, and map collections encompass a variety of topics related to the history of European discovery, exploration, settlement, and development of the New World until circa 1825.

Brown University University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, it is the seventh-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.


Early life, education, and family

The son of Randolph G. Adams and Helen Spiller Adams, he was born in Durham, North Carolina, and grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his father was Librarian of the William L. Clements Library, part of the University of Michigan Library system. Adams served in the U. S. Navy during World War II, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1944. He received an MA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1949. In 1951, he married Virginia Matzke Adams, with whom he had three daughters: Virginia Hedges Adams, Josephine Lippincott Adams, and Eliza Stokes Adams.

Durham, North Carolina City in North Carolina, United States

Durham is a city in and the county seat of Durham County in the U.S. state of North Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population to be 251,893 as of July 1, 2014, making it the 4th-most populous city in North Carolina, and the 78th-most populous city in the United States. Durham is the core of the four-county Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 542,710 as of U.S. Census 2014 Population Estimates. The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Durham as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 2,037,430 as of U.S. Census 2014 Population Estimates.

William L. Clements Library

The William L. Clements Library is a rare book and manuscript repository located on the University of Michigan’s central campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Specializing in Americana and particularly North American history prior to the twentieth century, the holdings of the Clements Library are grouped into four categories: Books, Manuscripts, Graphics and Maps. The library’s collection of primary source materials is expansive and particularly rich in the areas of social history, the American Revolution, and the colonization of North America. The Book collection includes 80,000 rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, and periodicals. Within the other divisions, the library holds 600 atlases, approximately 30,000 maps, 99,400 prints and photographs, 134 culinary periodicals, 20,000 pieces of ephemera, 2,600 manuscript collections, 150 pieces of artwork, 100 pieces of realia, and 15,000 pieces of sheet music.

The University of Michigan Library is the university library system of the University of Michigan, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the United States.

Career as a rare book librarian

Adams began his career in rare books in 1947 at the Library Company of Philadelphia. He served as curator of rare books in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library at the University of Pennsylvania from 1950 to 1955. rare books. In 1955, he was appointed Custodian of the Chapin Library at Williams College, remaining there until 1957, when he was appointed Librarian of The John Carter Brown Library. He retired from that position in 1983, and stayed on as University Professor at Brown until 1991.

Library Company of Philadelphia library

The Library Company of Philadelphia (LCP) is a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a library, the Library Company of Philadelphia has accumulated one of the most significant collections of historically valuable manuscripts and printed material in the United States.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university located in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Chartered in 1755, Penn is the sixth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. The university's coat of arms features a dolphin on its red chief, adopted from Benjamin Franklin's own coat of arms.

Williams College liberal arts college in Massachusetts

Williams College is a private liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams, a colonist from the Province of Massachusetts Bay who was killed in the French and Indian War in 1755. The college was ranked first in 2017 in the U.S. News & World Report's liberal arts ranking for the 15th consecutive year, and first among liberal arts colleges in the 2018 Forbes magazine ranking of America's Top Colleges.

Adams served on the boards and advisory committees of many institutions including the Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence Athenaeum and Mystic Seaport Museum.

Rhode Island Historical Society non-profit organisation in the USA

The Rhode Island Historical Society is a privately endowed membership organization, founded in 1822, dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing the history of Rhode Island. Its offices are located in Providence, Rhode Island.

Rhode Island School of Design Private art and design college in Providence, Rhode Island

Rhode Island School of Design is a fine arts and design college located in Providence, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It has consistently been ranked among the best educational institutions in the world for art and design.

Providence Athenaeum library in Providence, Rhode Island

The Providence Athenaeum was founded as "The Athenaeum" in 1836 as an independent, member-supported library open to the public. Its progenitors were two earlier libraries: The Providence Library Company, founded in 1753, and the Providence Athenaeum, founded in 1831. It became "The Providence Athenaeum" by amendment to its charter in 1850.

He served on the Council of the Bibliographical Society of America, 1969–1980, and as its President, 1978-1980. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1963, a National Endowment for the Humanities Senior Fellow in 1971, and recipient of several National Endowment for the Humanities and Mellon Foundation publication grants. He was a member of the American Antiquarian Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Club of Odd Volumes, Grolier Club, as well as the Century and Barnstable, Massachusetts Yacht Clubs.

The Bibliographical Society of America (BSA) is the oldest learned society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects. Established in 1904, the society promotes bibliographical research and issues bibliographical publications. It holds its annual meeting in New York City in late January, during which time an annual address is presented by a guest speaker followed by three papers from young scholars selected as part of the society's New Scholars Program. It also sponsors lectures, an annual fellowship program, and three prizes for work published in the fields of printing and publishing history.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is an independent federal agency of the U.S. government, established by the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. The NEH is housed at 400 7th St SW, Washington, D.C. From 1979 to 2014, NEH was at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. in the Nancy Hanks Center at the Old Post Office.

American Antiquarian Society learned society and national research library

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), located in Worcester, Massachusetts, is both a learned society and national research library of pre-twentieth century American history and culture. Founded in 1812, it is the oldest historical society in the United States with a national focus. Its main building, known as Antiquarian Hall, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark in recognition of this legacy. The mission of the AAS is to collect, preserve and make available for study all printed records of what is now known as the United States of America. This includes materials from the first European settlement through the year 1876.

He was the 2008 recipient of the John Carter Brown Library Medal, in recognition of distinguished service to the Library. he died in Providence, Rhode Island.

Providence, Rhode Island capital of Rhode Island

Providence is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Rhode Island and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was founded in 1636 by Roger Williams, a Reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He named the area in honor of "God's merciful Providence" which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers. The city is situated at the mouth of the Providence River at the head of Narragansett Bay.

Published works

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