Robert B. Downs

WINDSOR, PHINEAS LAWRENCE (1871–1965). Phineas Lawrence Windsor, librarian, son of John Alexander and Amy (Arnold) Windsor, was born in Illinois in 1871. His father was a Methodist minister. He attended Northwestern University and began his library career as a student assistant in the Northwestern library. From 1897 to 1899 he attended the New York State Library School at Albany, after which he worked for three years (1900–03) in the Library of Congress Copyright Office. Windsor's appointment as librarian of the University of Texas came in 1903. The library's collections grew substantially under his administration, and he was highly esteemed by the university faculty, staff, and students. President David F. Houston commended his "executive ability, great industry, scholarly grasp of things, and unusual ability to work with students and professors." As concrete evidence of Windsor's high standing with the university administration, his salary was set at $2,000 in 1903 and raised to $2,500 in 1908. He was also granted faculty status. While in Texas, he became vitally interested in library conditions throughout the state and to some extent the Southwest. He drafted a bill, which was passed by the legislature, to establish the Texas Library Commission, and took a leading part in forming the Texas State Library Association. Windsor contributed to professional literature on a variety of subjects. While at Texas he published articles on library education, college libraries in the Southwest, interlibrary loans, and a number of other library-related topics. He also served as editor of a Handbook of Texas Libraries (1904). One of his most important articles, "The Library Situation in Texas," was presented at an American Library Association conference in 1907. The year before he moved to Texas Windsor married Margaret Fursman Boynton of Lockport, New York, an alumna of Cornell University. Three daughters were born to the Windsors during the years spent in Austin; two subsequently entered the library profession. In 1909 Windsor returned to his native state and began a successful thirty-one-year career as director of the library and library school at the University of Illinois. He died in 1965. He was a Methodist.

Dictionary of American Library Biography (Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1978). Louis C. Moloney, A History of the University Library at the University of Texas, 1883–1934 (D.L.S. dissertation, Columbia University, 1970).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Robert B. Downs, "WINDSOR, PHINEAS LAWRENCE," accessed April 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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