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William Elmer Henry collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S0639

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 2 copies of W. E. Henry's article, "Thirty-Five Years Looking Backward", which appeared in the July-September, 1932 edition of the Indiana State Library's publication,Library Occurrent, and describes how he became the director of the Indiana State Library and the changes that took place during his tenure (1897-1906). The collection also contains Henry's autobiography, "Through Seventy-Seven Years, Nov. 1857-Nov. 1934: His Own Story", a letter of recommendation for Henry written by David Jordan of Indiana University dated April 13th, 1891, and a bookplate from the University of Washington Library School titled, "The William E. Henry Collection: The Making of the Book."

Admission tickets to the Indiana Republican State Conventions (1900-1904), the Indiana State Fair (1902-1903), the National Prohibition Convention (1904), the Democratic Mass Meeting (1904), and the third annual encampment of the Spanish-American War Veterans (1902), as well as Henry's membership cards for the Indiana State Teacher's Association (1902) and the Southern Indiana Teacher's Association are also included. Other items within the collection are an income tax notice to E. W.Sloan, signed by the Internal Revenue collector at Indianapolis,Theodore P. Haughey, along with the receipt of payment from August, 1864; two letters of acknowledgement written in Japanese with an accompanying English translation from The Department of Law, Science, and Literature, Tokio [Tokyo], Japan, dated October 1, 1880 and April 19, 1881 for the receipt of the 1st and 8th-10th annual reports of the Geological Survey of Indiana; an exhibitor's badge (1857) and exhibitor's cleaning request card for the Indiana State Fair, an 1871 Indiana State Fair admission card, and an advertisement for the 1874 State Fair and Exposition.


  • 1856-1934


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

William Elmer (W.E.) Henry was born on November 7, 1857 in Fayette County, Indiana to John and Elizabeth Chapman Henry. He married Margaret A. Roberts on July 31, 1895 and they had one daughter, Elizabeth. After Margaret's death in 1900, Henry married Sylvia Allen on March 26, 1903. W.E. Henry died on March 20, 1936 in Seattle, Washington.

W.E. Henry had a long career in education and librarianship. He taught in small country schools and was the principal at the high school in Peru, Indiana for 5 years. He received his A.B. and A.M. from Indiana Univeristy and also had a fellowship at the University of Chicago (1893-1895). He returned to Indiana and was an English professor at Franklin College for 2 years until accepting the position of Indiana State Librarian in 1897. He was the state's librarian for 9 years and then accepted the librarianship for the University of Washington in Seattle in 1906. He was the University of Washington's librarian for 23 years until his retirement in 1929. Henry also helped start the University of Washington's library school in 1911 and continued as its director until 1931. He remained at the University as a Librarian Emeritus until his death.


Information found within collection. "Sylvia M. Allen." Missouri Marriages Records, 1805 - 1902. Accessed October 5, 2015. "William E. Henry." Indiana Index to Select Marriages, 1780 - 1992. Accessed October 5, 2015. "William Elmer Henry." Washington Deaths, 1883-1960. Accessed October 5, 2015.


0.02 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/10/06 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2015/10/06 by Laura Eliason.
William Elmer Henry collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.