David C. Mearns (1899-1981)
David C. Mearns worked for the Library from 1918 to 1967. During this time he served as Superintendent of the Reading Rooms, Director of the Reference Department, Assistant Librarian, and finally Chief of the Manuscript Division. In 1946 he wrote The Story Up to Now, a history of the Library from 1800 to 1946. Archibald MacLeish described him as "the rarest treasure in the Library of Congress."
Elsie Rackstraw (d. 1992)
A graduate of the New York Library School and American University, Elsie Rackstraw began working at the Library of Congress on July 10, 1944 as chief of the newly established Loan Division. The creation of the Loan Division and the appointment of Rackstraw were part of Librarian MacLeish’s sweeping reorganization in order to make the Library more responsive to the Congress and the public. Upon Rackstraw’s retirement on September 30, 1950, her successor, Legare Obear, wrote: “It was through her guidance that many of the loan procedures which have worked so successfully had been established.”
Lucy Salamanca (d. 1989)
Lucy Salamanca, Chief of the Inquiry Section of the Library’s Legislative Reference Service, was the author of Fortress of Freedom: The Story of the Library of Congress. Published in 1942, the book tells the Library’s history and the way in which it became a great national force in the world’s struggle for freedom and democracy. She wrote: “In a world fighting desperately against the savage inroads of a philosophy of force, its power is great, its obligation sacred to protect the integrity of the written world. Husbanding and dispensing here at home the fruits of man’s culture and the written record of man’s past, it finds itself at the same time called upon to offer sanctuary to the driven exiled scholars of other lands. These obligations it never knew in the past. And who could foresee such incredible necessities?”
Harold Spivacke (1904-1977)
Harold Spivacke served the Library for 38 years, first as Assistant Chief of the Music Division from 1934 until 1937 and then as chief from 1937 until he retired in 1972. During his time in office, the holdings of the Music Division almost tripled, the activities and services of the division expanded greatly, and the Library’s music program became an important part of America’s cultural life.