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From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:

Leland, Waldo G.

Waldo Gifford Leland (1879-1966), historian, was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on July 17, 1879. He graduated from Brown in 1900. In 1903, while he was a doctoral candidate at Harvard, he went to Washington to assist his former history professor, J. Franklin Jameson, then Director of Historical Research for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in the first major inventory of American historical documents. Although some government offices were not enthusiastic about opening their files to Leland, he published in 1904 a Guide to the Archives of the Government of the United States in Washington, the first comprehensive listing. Leland and Jameson paved the way for the establishment of the National Archives, even though this event did not take place until 1934. When the first Archivist of the United States was appointed, Leland, a Republican, was passed over by Franklin Roosevelt. He was the first president of the Society of American Archivists in 1940-41. Leland was also one of the principal organizers and president from 1927 to 1946 of the American Council of Learned Societies. He served twice as an American delegate to UNESCO conferences. He was active in many associations and served as Secretary of the National Board of Historical Sciences, Trustee of the Institute of International Education, Vice-Chairman of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Park Service. His writings were numerous. He was, in fact, so busy that he never got back to Harvard to finish his doctorate. He was a member of the Brown Board of Fellows from 1933 to 1964. He died in Washington on October 9, 1966.

The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright 1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.

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