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Helen H. Lyman papers

 Collection — Box: 1-35
Identifier: 45-F-1000

Scope and Contents

The Helen H. Lyman collection is divided into four series: I. Biological: contains biographical and personal information that includes Lyman's genealogical work on the Huguenor family as well as the handwritten notes that was the beginnings of her autobiography, "My Life."
II. Professional: contains Lyman's professional work with the American Libraries Association (ALA), the Buffalo Public Library (today the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library), conferences, workshops. Also included is the Library Materials Research Project (LMRP) produced for the Office of Libraries and Learning Technologies at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and many of Lyman's published works including Reading and the New Adult Reader and Adult Services: Vision and Performance.
III. Teachings: contains Lyman's outline and syllabi for courses taught at both the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library School from 1966-1977 and the University at Buffalo, 1977-1998. Lyman was Professor Emerita at both of these institutions.
IV. Adult literacy resources: contains collected materials and notes on gathered research in the field of adult literacy. Throughout her life, Lyman actively collected source information on different aspects of adult learning in public libraries.


  • circa 1890-2002
  • Majority of material found in 1955-1998


Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

The Helen H. Lyman papers, circa 1890-2002 (bulk 1955-1998), are open for research.


Access to portions of this collection is RESTRICTED.


Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Please note: this collection has many photocopies of articles by other authors on the subject of adult literacy. These may be studied, but not re-distributed.

Biographical Note

(March 16) Helen Lucille Huguenor born in Hornell, NY
B.A., College of Arts and Sciences, University of Buffalo
Buffalo Public Library (now the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library)
Circulation Assistant
Administrative Assistant
Co-head of the Readers' Bureau with Lucille Adams
Head, Adult Education department
B.S. Library Science, University of Buffalo
Instructor, "Great Books Course", Millard Fillmore College, University of Buffalo
Board of Directors, Great Book Foundation, Chicago, IL
Director, American Libraries Association (ALA), Adult Education Survey, Chicago, IL
Advance Study at the Graduate Library School, University of Chicago
Adult Services Librarian, Hild Regional Branch, Chicago Public Library
Public Library Consultant Specialist in Adult Services, Wisconsin Free Library Commission, Madison, WI
Director, Reference Department (Associate Professor), Lockwood Memorial Library, State University of New York at Buffalo
Director and Consultant, Reading Guidance Institute, Library School, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Public Library Specialist for Adult Services, Library Services Branch, Office of Education, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC
Assistant Professor (1966-1972), Associate Professor (1973-1976), Professor (1976-1977), Library School, University of Wisconsin-Madison (named Professor Emeritus in 1978)
Director and Principle Investigator, Research Project, "Library Materials in Service to the Adult New Reader," Library School, University of Wisconsin-Madison
(July 21-August 1) Director, Institute for Training in Librarianship: "Film and the Library," Library School, University of Wisconsin-Madison
President of Adult Services Division, American Libraries Association (ALA)
Published "Library Materials in Service to the Adult New Reader"
Published "Reading and the Adult New Reader"
Published "Literacy and the Nation's Libraries"
Adjunct Professor, Library and Information Studies Program, State University of New York at Buffalo (later named Professor Emeritus)
Received the Joseph W. Lippincott Award for distinguished service in the profession of librarianship, American Library Association (ALA)
First recipient of the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award for significant contributions to and an impact on library adult services, the Reference and Adult Services Division (RASD) of the American Library Association (ALA)
Received the University at Buffalo Distinguished Alumni Award
(November 4) died in her hometown of Orchard Park, NY

"'Her pioneering study of adult education activities in public libraries in 1954 had a catalytic impact on library adult services.' [Peter] Hiatt [Chair of the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award Committee, 1986] noted that Lyman is closely identified with literacy programs and public libraries and is currently linking retired citizens and literacy work in new, experimental ways."
[from press release: "Lyman receives ALA/RASD Monroe library adult services award" by Deborah G. Robertson and Linda K. Wallace, June 1986].


14.39 Linear Feet (34 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript boxes)


The papers of adult services librarian and library science professor, Helen Huguenor Lyman, which span almost 70 years of research and writing on the subject of adult literacy. Also includes personal writings and genealogical notes on the Huguenor family.


This collection is arranged in four series: I. Biographical; II. Professional; III. Teachings; and IV. Adult literacy resources.

Acquisition Information

The collection was received in two accessions: #00-036, American Library Association (ALA) publication manuscripts, 1954-1977, was received from Helen H. Lyman on June 2000 and #03-725 was transferred to the Archives by Lyman's nephew, Richard H. Stamps on August 28, 2003.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Goul, February 2005 and Jessica Tanny, April 2005.
Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, December 2014.


Finding Aid for the Helen H. Lyman papers
Finding aid prepared by Jessica Tanny.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)