March 27, 2024

Carnegie Society Book Club Celebrates the Story of Belle da Costa Greene


Belle da Costa Greene’s impact on history is undeniable, leaving behind a profound legacy. In The Personal Librarian by Heather Terrell and Victoria Christopher Murray, this year’s Carnegie Society Book Club selection, Greene’s extraordinary life story is portrayed through the lens of historical fiction. Initially serving as the personal librarian to J.P. Morgan and later his son, Jack, Greene became the founding director of what is now recognized as The Morgan Library & Museum. Throughout her forty-three-year tenure overseeing the J.P. Morgan Library, Greene curated one of the most impressive collections of rare books and manuscripts, transforming these materials into an invaluable public resource. Amidst her extraordinary accomplishments, Greene grappled with the complexities of her identity as a white-passing woman navigating the early twentieth-century workforce (The Morgan Library & Museum).  

Greene’s tireless dedication and remarkable contributions continue to inspire generations, making her story a testament to perseverance and passion in the face of adversity. 

Join us for this year’s Carnegie Society Book Club, featuring guest speaker Erica Ciallela, the Exhibition Project Curator for ‘Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy’ at The Morgan Library & Museum. As a public historian and archivist with expertise in 19th and early 20th-century African American women’s history and education, Ciallela processed Greene’s professional papers. 

At the Carnegie Society Book Club on Sunday, April 7th, from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Main Library, Ciallela will present insights into Greene’s life and work. This event promises a rare opportunity to gain a glimpse into the life and contributions of a remarkable woman, presented by an expert curator intimately familiar with her legacy. Don’t miss out—join the Carnegie Society today to secure your ticket. 


The Morgan Library & Museum. “Belle da Costa Greene: A Librarian’s Legacy.” Accessed March 22, 2024.

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