Putnam, Herbert (1861–1955), a United States librarian. As Librarian of Congress, 1899–1939, he introduced many improvements and saw the library grow from fewer than 1,000,000 volumes to more than 5,500,000. Putnam was born in New York City. He graduated from Harvard University in 1883, and then studied law at Columbia University. He was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1886. From 1884 to 1891 he was a librarian in Minneapolis. After practicing law in Boston, 1892–95, Putnam headed the Boston Public Library until President McKinley made him Librarian of Congress. He was president of the American Library Association in 1892 and 1904.