Mr. H. R. Tedder
Former librarian of the Athenæum
Literary men, and especially men interested in the organization of libraries will regret to learn that Mr. Henry Richard Tedder, died yesterday in his house at Putney, after a painful illness. He had just completed his 74th year, and for over 50 years had been identified with libraries, and with the efforts that have been so constantly made since about the year 1877 to reduce the rules of the classification and arrangement of books to something like a science, and to improve the profession position of librarians.
He be began his work under the best auspices, for in 1873, he became librarian to Lord Acton, and helped to form that immense collection of books which the owner not only bought but read and which, after his death, went to John Morley, who gave it to Cambridge. It was largely owing to Lord Acton's recommendation that Tedder, in 1874, became assistant to Spencer Hall, the librarian of the Athenæum, and that after a couple of years he was promoted to that important post, which he held for 46 years, till his retirement in 1922. It was perhaps unwise of the committee of the club, in their desire for economy, to combine the office of secretary with that of librarian; but that step was taken in 1889, and Tedder was appointed to both posts. Long before his retirement it had been realized that the post of librarian in charge of some 70,000 volumes, to which additions are constantly being made, is what the modern world calls "a whole-time job"; and the same may be said of the secretarial work. So the offices were again separated, with Tedder's full approval. It was never a secret that he preferred his bookshelves to his kitchen accounts! Nor was his biographical activity confined to the Athenæum. No man was more active than he in organizing, directing ad contributing to the work of the Library Association and kindred institutions. He was joint secretary of the International Conference of the Librarians in 1877; for nine years he was hon. treasurer of the Library Association (which now counts nearly 1,000 members); and he was treasurer and secretary of the Metropolitan Free Libraries Association, which has proved to be a great boon to thousands of readers. Tedder wrote a number of papers on his own subject, which are to be found in Transactions of the Library Association; and he was also a useful contributor both to the Encyclopædia Britannica and the D.N.B.
On his retirement, the club presented Mr. Tedder with his own portrait, painted by Mr. Hall Neale; this he in turn gave to the club at the time of the centenary celebrations, a few weeks ago. He was twice married, and leaves a son and a daughter.
The funeral will be at Putney Vale on Wednesday, at 3 o'clock.