Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
California Library Hall of Fame: Adelaide Hasse
Share |

Back to the California Library Hall of Fame main page

California Library Hall of Fame

Adelaide Rosalie Hasse (1868-1953)


An expert in government documents, Adelaide Hasse was employed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (1895-1897), where she developed the Superintendent of Documents Classification System still in use today. In 1897, Hasse moved to the New York Public Library and spent the next several decades building that library’s government documents collection as well as helping establish branch libraries and modern services. During Hasse’s 55-year career, she was a prominent library figure at the national level, writing over 20 books, regularly contributing articles to library publications, and editing the Special Libraries journal. In 1999, American Libraries counted Hasse among the 100 most influential librarians of the 20th century. It was her experience working at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) in the early 1890s, however, that made possible the success of her future career. While at LAPL, Hasse studied government documents and began experimenting with various indexing and cataloging systems. As assistant librarian, she oversaw the expansion of LAPL’s collections, instituted modern library practices, and created and oversaw the first library-training program in California. In 1891, she also helped organize the Southern California Library Club, which pre-dated the creation of the California Library Association by four years. 

Adelaide Hasse was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2013. For more information about her, please see:

  • Clare Beck, The New Woman as Librarian: The Career of Adelaide Hasse. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2006.

  • “Adelaide Hasse.” Wikipedia.

  • Leonard Kniffel, et al. “100 of the Most Important Leaders We Had in the 20th Century.” American Libraries (December 1999), p. 43. 

Photo credit: Wikipedia.