Jane Maud Campbell was born in Liverpool, England, one of seven children of George and Jane Cameron Campbell. When she was twelve, the family moved to the United States, and she attended a private school in Richmond, Virginia. Returning to Great Britain, Campbell graduated in 1886 from the Ladies’ College of Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy.
After graduation, she returned to the United States and worked as an assistant at the Free Public Library in Newark, New Jersey. In 1902 she was made head of public libraries in Passaic, New Jersey, and became increasingly concerned with the plight of newly arrived immigrants.
In 1910 she left the Passaic Free Library to join the North American Civic League in New York City, where she taught immigrants about naturalization and their prospects for employment as American citizens. In 1913 she was appointed Educational Director for Work with Aliens of the Massachusetts Library Commission, the first such post in the United States.
In 1922 Campbell left Massachusetts to be closer to her family, securing a position as head librarian of the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. She died in Lynchburg in April 1947.
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Document #1: Campbell’s Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy bursar’s report card with course listings such as knitting and darning, cleaning and scullery work, and practical dressmaking (page #359)
Document #3: Campbell’s handwritten speech, circa 1913, relating how librarians (“modest people [who] have to be satisfied with a knowledge that if our efforts entitle us to our reward, it is postponed…”) can assist immigrants in becoming library patrons (pages #1139–1140)