AHA President, 1887–88


Newberry Library

From Encyclopædia Britannica

William F. Poole (December 24, 1821–March 1, 1894) was an American bibliographer and library administrator whose indexing of periodicals became authoritative. As a student at Yale University, Poole learned the principles of indexing from John Edmands (1820–1915), afterward librarian of the Philadelphia Mercantile Library, whom Poole succeeded as librarian of a college literary society. While still in college, Poole prepared An Alphabetical Index to Subjects Treated in the Reviews and Other Periodicals, to Which No Indexes Have Been Published (1848), which was revised and enlarged as Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature (1887–1908). After directing successively two libraries in Boston (1852–69), Poole organized and served as chief librarian of the public libraries of Cincinnati (1871–73) and Chicago (1874–87), building the circulation of the Chicago library to the largest in the United States in its time. Subsequently he organized the Newberry Library, Chicago.


Poole’s index to periodical literature: an index to periodical literature. By Wm. Fred. Poole. New York: C. B. Norton, 1853.

Poole’s index to periodical literature. By William Frederick Poole with the assistance as associate editor of William I. Fletcher and the cooperation of the American library association and the Library association of the United Kingdom. Rev. ed. Vol. I. 1802-1881. Boston, New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1893.

Cotton Mather and Salem witchcraft. By William Frederick Poole. Reprinted from the North American review for April, 1869. Boston: Boston University Press, 1869.

The Ordinance of 1787, and Dr. Manasseh Cutler as an agent in its formation. By William Frederick Poole. Cambridge, Mass.: Welch, Bigelow, and Co., 1876.