Catherine Bosley Allen was born in Nashville, Tennessee to H.W. and Minta Allen back in 1896. Her family moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was a child. She graduated from Howard University and Columbia University. She was fluent in French and could read German. In 1921, she married Benton R. Latimer, he worked as an accountant for the United States Post Office.
In 1920, she was hired as a substitute librarian assistant, later she transitioned to being a full-time librarian by the end of 1920. She worked there for 26 years, retiring in 1946 due to ill health and poor eyesight.
What you may not know about Catherine is that she was the first New York Public Library’s African-American librarian. She was instrumental in forming the library’s Division of Negro History, Literature and Prints.
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