Wonderful Women Wednesday: Ruth E. Blanchard

Each week, the Archives features a woman who has been a groundbreaker at the Smithsonian, past or present, in a series titled Wonderful Women Wednesday.

Ruth E. Blanchard was the head librarian of the Smithsonian between 1957 and 1964. She remained at the Institution until 1972 as the Smithsonian’s Library of Congress liaison.

Blanchard joined the Smithsonian in 1936 as a “minor library assistant” with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Before earning the role of head librarian, she served as “chief” of the catalog section.  

Blanchard earned a degree in library science from the University of Oklahoma.

A woman wearing a long dress sits for a photograph. She is smiling and her hands are crossed at her

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