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Posey, Capt. Robert K. | Poste, Lt. Leslie I. | Queesenberry, Major Mary Regan

Poste, Lt. Leslie I.  

Lieutenant, Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) Officer

Poste served as a Capt. of Military Intelligence from 1943 until 1945, when he became the MFAA libraries-archives specialist at Headquarters of the Seventh U.S. Army and the Military Government in Wuerttemberg-Baden. As one of the founders of the Offenbach Archival Depot (or Collecting Point), he was an instrumental figure in the restitution of books and archives in Europe following World War II. Before the Offenbach collecting point was established, library collections from Hungen, Bavaria, Hirzenhain and other repositories were stored at the Rothschild Library in Frankfurt for sorting and cataloguing. Poste recognized that the system in use at the Rothschild Library was inefficient, and suggested the relocation of operations to the I.G. Farben building in Offenbach. By establishing the Offenbach Archival Depot, all of the collections found in repositories were restituted through a single, large, and secure facility.

Poste was well qualified to work at Offenbach. Prior to his military service, he was a library and archives specialist. Having studied at Wayne State University, Poste received his Bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Columbia in 1942. Upon his return from Europe in 1947, he taught at both the University of Kentucky and the University of Denver before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago’s Graduate Library School in 1958. Poste’s dissertation, “The Development of U.S. Protection of Libraries and Archives in Europe during World War II,” was based on his service with the MFAA and his experiences dealing with the difficult recovery and restitution of archives from across the continent. From 1958 until 1978, he was a professor of library and information science at SUNY-Geneseo. Following his retirement from the university, Poste was an antiquarian bookseller until his death in 1996.


Copyrighted by Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art