Jens Christian Bay

Jens Christian Bay

Jens Christian Bay (1871-1962) was a Danish-American writer and librarian.

Born in Rudkobing, Denmark, Bay came to the United States in 1892 and took a position with the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. He later worked for the Library of Congress and, in 1905, became a librarian at the John Crerar Library at the University of Chicago. From 1928 to 1947 he was chief librarian of the Crerar Library.

Bay was recognized as an authority on many subjects, including rare books, but was particularly interested in botany, English literature and the history of the American Midwest. He was a long-time friend of Young E. Allison, an author and newspaper editor of Louisville, Kentucky. Bay and Allison shared a variety of interests, including the history of Kentucky, Stephen Foster, James Whitcomb Riley, Robert Louis Stevenson and Charles Dickens. Bay was also interested in the literature of his native Denmark and was knighted by the King Frederick IX in 1947.

He died in Chicago in 1962.

elected Works

*"The Fortune of Books", 1941
*"Rare and Beautiful Imprints of Chicago", 1922
*"The Bookman is a Hummingbird: Book Collecting in the Middle West and the House of Walter M. Hill", 1952
*"Conrad Gesner (1516-1565), the Father of Bibliography", 1916
*"Journeys and Voyages to Nature: A Survey of One Hundred Books", 1950
*"A Handful of Western Books", 1935
*"A Second Handful of Western Books", 1936
*"A Third Handful of Western Books", 1937
*"The Pickwick Papers: Some Bibliographical Remarks"
*"The Dummy Library of Charles Dickens at Gad's Hill Place", 1937
*"Danish Fairy & Folktales", 1899


*"Dr. Jens C. Bay Dies; Famed in Library Field," "Chicago Tribune," April 13, 1962, pg. B14.
*Lawrence Sydney Thompson, "Jens Christian Bay, Bibliologist," 1963.
*"Selected Works of Young E. Allison," Louisville, Ky.: John P. Morton, 1935.

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