The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 167

Book Reviews and Notices

Dictionary of American Biography. Under the auspices of the
American Council of Learned Societies. Volumes I-III
edited by Allen Johnson, Volume IV by Allen Johnson and
Dumas Malone. (Pp. XI, 660; IX, 616; IX, 618; IX, 637.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1928-1930.)
The Dictionary of American, Biography is the outgrowth of the
organization of the American Council of Learned Societies. The
Council is made up of fifteen organizations: the American Philo-
sophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the
American Antiquarian Society, the American Oriental Society, the
American Philological Association, the Archaeological Institute of
America, the Modern Language Association of America, the Amer-
ican Historical Association, the American Economic Association,
the American Philosophical Association, the American Political
Science Association, the American Sociological Society, the Lin-
guistic Society of America, the History of Science Society, and the
Medieval Academy. A committee of the Council formulated plans
for the Dictionary in 1922, and the preparation of the manuscript
was made possible by the generous agreement of Mr. Adolph S.
Ochs and the New York Times Company to advance $50,000 a
year for ten years. Dr. Allen Johnson, who had just completed
the editing of The Chronicles of America, a fifty-volume co-opera-
tive history of the United States, undertook to edit the work.
Three negative restrictions adopted by the editor and his ad-
visory committee were: "First, that no living persons should have
biographies in the Dictionary; second, that no persons who had not
lived in the territory now known as the United States should be
eligible; and third, that no British officers serving in America after
the colonies had declared their independence should appear in the
Dictionary." These limitations designedly admit men and women
of foreign birth "who have identified themselves with the country
and contributed notably to its history," without becoming natural-
ized citizens-for example, French and Spanish explorers who
merely entered portions of the present territory of the United
States. "Positive qualifications," says the editor, "were less easily
defined. In general, only those are included . . . who have made


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. ( accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.