David H. Clift Papers, 1951-72
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Brief Description: Papers of David H. Clift (1907-73), ALA Executive Secretary (1951-58) and Executive Director (1958-73) including speeches about freedom to read and censorship (1952-62), books, American Heritage Program in libraries (1952-54), professionalism, federal aid, regional associations, adult education in pubic libraries, Library Services Bill (1956-57), literacy and promotion of ALA goals and services. The series includes biographical information (1951-71), a journal of a trip to German public libraries (1963) and travel records (1951-62). In addition, the series contain personal letters (1931-1949) to his wife, Eleanore Flynn, including letters from his work in Germany after WWII (1945-1949), and correspondence from his wife's family and friends (1927, 1929-1949, and 1966).
Held at:
The American Library Association Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61802
Phone: 217 333 0798
Fax: 217 244 2868
Email: ala-archives [at] library.illinois.edu
Record Series Number: 2/4/24
Created by: Clift, David H. (1907-1973)
Volume: 1.6 Cubic Feet
Acquired: 9/15/77; 1/28/81
More information is available at https://files.archon.library.illinois.edu/alasfa/0204024a.pdf
Arrangement: Chronological
Biographical Note for Clift, David H. (1907-1973) :

David H. Clift was born on June 16, 1907 in Washington, Kentucky. He began attending the University of Kentucky at Lexington in 1925, and in 1930 he entered the Columbia University School of Library Service. After completing his bachelor's degree in library science in 1931, he started working in reference at the New York Public Library. He did so well there that in 1937 he became the assistant to the director of the Columbia University Library, Charles C. Williamson. After five years, he was drafted into the Army in 1942, first assigned as a hospital orderly then to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Interdepartmental Committee for the Acquisition of Foreign Acquisitions where he became deputy to the executive director. After being honorably discharged in 1945, he was appointed as the associate librarian at Yale University until 1951 when he became the executive secretary (which became the executive director in 1958) of ALA, a position he held until he retired in 1972. His lasting contribution to the profession was the defense of intellectual freedom. He is credited with helping to orchestrate the adoption of the Freedom to Read Statement and the later creation of the Office of the Intellectual Freedom. From ALA, he received the Joseph W. Lippencott Award for distinguished library service in 1962, an Honorary Life Membership in 1972, and was named executive director emeritus that same year.

In addition to his contributions to ALA, Clift was president of the New York Library Club (1941-42) and the Connecticut Library Association (1950-51). He was acting chief of the Library of Congress Mission to Germany (1945-46), and he served as the delegate to the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) from 1964 to 1972. He was also an active trustee member of the American Library in Paris (1969-72). He died on October 16, 1973 [1].

Subject Index
Activities Committee on New Directions for ALA (ACONDA)
Adult Education
American Heritage Project
Clift, David H.
Executive Director, ALA
Federal Aid for Libraries
Freedom to Read
Germany-Public Libraries
Headquarters Administration
Library Services and Construction Act
Regional Associations
Languages of Materials
English [eng]