QUESTION: notable radical/progressive librarians

question / pregunta: 

Does anyone have any names of librarians (like Juliette Hampton Morgan) or activists past or present who have or are currently working with information access and/or preservation and archiving? I am trying to undertake a small portrait project where I would like to commemorate progressive librarians (if you'd like your portrait painted, let me know!).


You got Chairman Mao Zedong and Karl Marx. You got Audre Lorde.

There have already been a lot of terrific suggestions in the comments for this question. A couple additional sources that might be useful include Library Journal's Movers and Shakers awards, for which they've compiled a geographic report from 2002 to 2011. For additional suggestions specific to information literacy, you might get in touch with ALA's Information Literacy and Instruction list serv.

notable radical/progressive librarians

I'd say Sandy Berman (

notable radical/ progressive librarians

You should also look at people like:
Randall C. Jimerson (he wrote a book on archives and social justice and is a professor)
Kathleen de la Pena McCook
Rory Litwin
Chuck Munson
Julie Herrada


I'm going to answer from the archival point of view and say off the top of my head:
Verne Harris
Terry Cook
I'd also take a look around some of the archives and libraries you admire (zine libraries/archives, etc) and see who's running them as a sort of "unsung hero" type of thing.
Historically, this is a good question also. I'd take a look at people who began archives during the French revolution, maybe read the Ernst Posner book on archives throughout history. You could also dedicate a bit of the project to some postmodernists who were not librarians or archivists but had a lot of ideas, (Derrida, Foucault, et al.)
Another way to approach this would be to think about personal archives-- for example, founders of radical archives like Joseph Labadie or the founders of the Tamiment Library.
I hope this is helpful!

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