Leaving a Legacy

After nearly forty-four years, including twenty-five as director, Greene said goodbye to the Morgan. Having formed close relationships with her staff, she knew she was leaving the collection and her legacy in well-trained and loyal hands. Known for crediting others with the Library’s success, she continued to diminish her own role, writing to her colleagues, “It is wonderful of you all and makes me feel (at last) very ‘humble’ and very proud at the same time.” Under Greene, the Morgan added over seventeen thousand reference works and ten thousand printed books to its collection, presented forty-six exhibitions, issued thirty-five publications, started a lecture series, and provided scholars with access to some of the world’s most incredible cultural artifacts.

Tebbs & Knell, New York
Reading Room of the Pierpont Morgan Library, [1923–ca. 1935]
TK Gelatin silver print
Archives of the Morgan Library & Museum; ARC 1914

Belle da Costa Greene (1879–1950)
Letter to Pierpont Morgan Library staff, 5 April 1949
Archives of the Morgan Library & Museum