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Julia Pettee Papers

Identifier: MC-009

Scope and Contents

The Julia Pettee Papers contains correspondence, student notes, and miscellaneous materials. This collection spans the years from 1894 to 2009, but most of the records fall between the years 1895 to 1905. These materials help illuminate the state of the library profession during her years at the Pratt Library School. They also contain peripheral information on figures such as Mary Wright Plummer and graduates of the early classes of the Library School (1895-1896). The collection also contains a retrospective look through Pettee’s late writings at issues surrounding the library profession.


  • 1894 - 2009
  • Majority of material found within 1895 - 1905


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, contact the Archivist, Pratt Institute Library.

Biographical / Historical

Julia Pettee, born in 1872, attended Pratt Institute Library School from 1894-1895. She worked as a cataloger at Vassar College for 10 years after her graduation. From 1909 to 1939, she was the Chief Cataloger in the Union Theological Seminary Library. During her tenure, she developed and implemented a new classification system for theological works—Union Classification System— that was, at one point, adopted in over 50 theological libraries across the nation.


0.15 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Julia Pettee was a student of the Pratt Institute Library School from 1894-1895. From 1909 to 1939, she was the Chief Cataloger in the Union Theological Seminary Library where she devised a unique classification system for theological works. Her papers date primarily from 1895 to 1905 and include incoming and outgoing correspondence, writings by and about Pettee, class notes, and ephemera related to her time as a library student.


The records are arranged in four series. The arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series 1: Incoming Correspondence, 1895-1905

Series 2: Outgoing Correspondence, 1894-1966

Series 3: Writings, 1858-2009

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1894-1958

Series 5: Student Notes, 1894-1895

Materials within series are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Julia Pettee in 1958, with additions through 1966.

Related Materials

Records of the School of Information and Library Science (PI-001)

Mary Wright Plummer Papers (Coll. No. 006)


Cited in: Charles, Mario A. “Julia Pette’s Year in Brooklyn at the Pratt Institute Library School: 1894-1895.” Long Island Historical Journal 10, no. 1 (Fall 1997): 86-96.

Harmful Language Statement

If you encounter any pejorative language (i.e. racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic) or content in the finding aids or within the content of the collection, please send an email to with the relevant details. For more information about how the Pratt Institute Libraries are addressing offensive language and content across its catalogs and databases, please see the Libraries' Harmful Language Statement:

Guide to the Julia Pettee Papers
Processed by Brian Cross, December 2004, with modifications by Paul Schlotthauer, July 2007.
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Revision Statements

  • 5/29/2019: Edited by Rebecca Pou for accuracy and compliance with DACS.

Repository Details

Part of the Pratt Institute Archives Repository

200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11205 United States