Herbert Putnam, Litt.D., LL.D. was the eight United States Librarian of Congress, serving from 1899 to 1939. He was the first experienced librarian to hold the post. Early during his administration, Putnam introduced a new system of classifying books that continues to this day.
“The dominant impression that survives in my memory of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is that of an extraordinary nobility: physically, in the head so massive yet so finely poised, and the modeling of the features; but spiritually, in the serenity of expression, and the suggestion of grave and responsible meditation in the deeper lines of the face. But there was also, in his complexion, carriage, and expression, an assurance of the complete health which is a requisite of a sane judgment. And when, as in a lighter mood, his features relaxed into the playful, the assurance was added of a sense of humor without which there is no true sense of proportion. I have never met any one concerned with the philosophies of life whose judgment might seem so reliable in matters of practical conduct.
My regret is that my meetings with him were so few and that I could not benefit by a lengthier contact with a personality combining a dignity so impressive with human traits so engaging.
I wish that he could be multiplied!”