Person NameAnderson; Peter John (1850-1926); librarian, University of Aberdeen
ForenamesPeter John
Epithetlibrarian, University of Aberdeen
ActivityPeter John Anderson was born around 1850 and was a native of Inverness. Both his parents had died by the time he matriculated at Aberdeen University in 1868. He graduated in 1874 in Mathematics, and was by that time Assistant in Natural Philosophy at the University. While he studied law in Edinburgh he supported himself by this post, then by the post of examiner from 1880 to 1883. He graduated LL.B. from Edinburgh, but was unable to practise law because he lacked the funds, and returned to Aberdeen to become a lecturer in English and Science at the Technical College. At the same time he became secretary to the New Spalding Club, Aberdeen, which he helped to revive, publishing historical monographs on the University and its alumni. He was assistant registrar at the University from 1883 to 1889, and Rector’s assessor from 1890 to 1893. In 1894 he gave up lecturing and became University Librarian, a post he held until his death in 1926. He built up the library, introducing the Dewey Decimal system, abolishing fees, allowing open access to books and instituting the Library Bulletin to raise the library’s profile with the students. He was instrumental in urging the University Court to allow full university membership to women students. Although he published little himself, he had a wide and varied knowledge and undoubtedly assisted in the research of others who published more. He was a founding committee member of the ‘Aberdeen University Review’ in 1913.
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