Reel Librarian Firsts

1912:

The Librarian, first film to feature a librarian

1919:

A Very Good Young Man, first film to feature a male librarian

Notable: The main character’s profession was changed from brass bed factory worker in the play to librarian in the film

1921:

The Lost Romance, first film to feature a librarian with glasses and a bun (the Spinster Librarian image begins!)

1932:

Forbidden, first sound film to feature a librarian

Notable: “Old lady foureyes!” In the film’s opening scene, two small boys shout this as public librarian Lulu Smith (Barbara Stanwyck) walks down the street.

 

1932:

No Man of Her Own, first film to feature a librarian in undergarments

1933 & 1940:

First films to feature a librarian saying, “Shush!”

The Good Companions, 1933 (UK)
The Philadelphia Story, 1940 (US)

1943:

The Seventh Victim, first horror film to feature a librarian

1953:

 

Pickup on South Street, first film to feature an African-American librarian

1984:

Cal, first (non-erotic) film to feature a nude librarian (Helen Mirren)


Source: Several items of trivia in this post I gathered together while reading The Image of Librarians in Cinema, 1917-1919, by Ray Tevis & Brenda Tevis, 2005, a great source for information on reel librarians.

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One comment on “Reel Librarian Firsts

  1. […] My first poster session was at the 2006 Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference in November 2006. The left side of the poster featured female character types (“Beyond the Bun”), the right side had male character types (“Beyond the Bow Tie”), and the middle section highlighted firsts in librarian cinema. […]

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