Special Collections: Sallie Webster Dorsey, 1913

Maryland ManualSallie Webster Dorsey was the Maryland State Librarian from 1912-1916. She was appointed by Governor Phillips Lee Goldsborough, who was also her neighbor and a family friend.

In announcing her appointment, the Baltimore Sun reported that Miss Dorsey had considerable experience in various libraries and in educational and literary work. In addition to serving as State Librarian, Miss Dorsey was also a member of the Maryland Public Library Commission.

As a writer, Dorsey contributed articles, poems and stories to numerous Maryland publications. Dorsey was also an active social presence in the Baltimore community. Dorsey was an original member of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and served as president of the Cambridge Woman’s Club and the Hospital Clothing Club.

Miss Dorsey's appointment earned her a listing in the Woman’s Who’s Who of America 1914–1915. As State Librarian, Miss Dorsey earned an annual salary of $1,500.

A duster-style linen coat worn by Sallie Dorsey is in the collection of the Maryland Center for History and Culture.  The linen coat is thought to be connected to Dorsey’s time working as state librarian. 

Notice in the photo that you can see the view from the book shelves and Tiffany dome as well as the original stools.

State Librarian Sallie Webster Dorsey in 1913



"Duster". Maryland Center for History and Culture. Retrieved April 25, 2024.

"Miss Dorsey Librarian; Governor Appoints his Neighbor to Succeed Miss Shaffer". The Baltimore Sun. February 1, 1912. p. 2. Retrieved April 25, 2024 – via Newspapers.com.

Woman's Who's Who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada. 1914-1915. Leonard, John William, editor. New York: The American Commonwealth Company, 1914. Retrieved April 25, 2024.