Meet the ACRL Presidents: Harriet D. MacPherson

Over the course of ACRL’s 75th anniversary celebration, we’ll highlight the association’s history by profiling our past presidents.MacPherson

Harriet Dorothea MacPherson (1892-1967) served as the 16th president of ACRL from 1953-54. During the same period, she was dean of the  School of Library Science at Drexel Institute. MacPherson received her M.A. and PhD from Columbia University in 1929 with concentrations in modern language and literature. She received her library education at the New York Public Library where she was awarded a certificate in 1917. She also served as president of ALA Library Education Division, chair of the ALA Cataloging Section, and the ALA Board of Education for Librarianship. She was a co-editor of the ALA Cataloging Rules for Authors.

Throughout her fifty-year library career, from 1917 to 1967, MacPherson worked as a cataloger, taught cataloging, and maintained a close interest in the field. She had considerable influence in cataloging and contributed to the field until a few months before her death. During her active career, she was a member of many professional groups including the Special Libraries Association, the Bibliographical Society of America, the Modern Language Association, New York Library Club, New York Regional Cataloging Group, American Association of University Women, and League of American Penwomen. She was also the editor of the Spanish and French section of ALA Booklist. Drexel University established the Harriet D. MacPherson Scholarship which provides annual awards for graduate students enrolled in the Information Science and Technology College.