Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Aims Aims McGuinness

Committee Members

Marcy Bidney, Christine Evans


American Geographical Society, gentlemen librarian, map librarianship, map library


This thesis explores the history of map librarianship and gender through an analysis of the career of Ena L. Yonge, a pioneering map librarian who worked at the American Geographical Society from 1917 to 1962. The thesis examines the decline of the ideal of the “gentleman librarian” in relation to the feminization of the library profession in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With a focus on Yonge, the thesis examines changing relationship between the AGS, the U.S. government, and larger world events, including World War I and World War II. Yonge’s career spanned a transformation in the profession of map librarianship, as Yonge remade herself and her position from the status of clerical worker into a respected expert. Yonge’s metamorphosis was part of a larger transformation in map librarianship that Yonge herself helped to shape, as map librarianship evolved into a profession with associated organizations, standards, and scholarly publications.