How popular is the baby name Melvil in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Melvil.

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Popularity of the baby name Melvil

Posts that mention the name Melvil

The minor mystery of Maginel

I recently learned that actress Anne Baxter had three daughters: Katrina, Melissa and Maginel. Katrina and Melissa are names I’d seen before, but Maginel was new to me. So of course I had to dig a little deeper.

Turns out Maginel’s name is pronounced with a hard g. She was named after a great aunt who was known as Maginel–a contracted form of Maggie Nell, which was short for Margaret Ellen.

Great Aunt Maginel was the younger sister of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Anne Baxter’s grandfather. (Talk about an impressive family tree!)

Her streamlined nickname reminds me of Melvil, which is the way librarian Melville Dewey used to spell his first name.


  • Rosenfield, Paul. “Theatrical Life of a Misfit.” Los Angeles Times. 5 Dec. 1976: S53.
  • Savoy, Maggie. “Anne Baxter Keeps Her Wigs On.” Los Angeles Times. 6 Nov. 1969: F1.
  • Secrest, Meryle. Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1988.

Baby names for library lovers (Namestorm #8)

Are you a library lover? Why not show it by naming your baby after a notable librarian or fellow library-lover, such as:


  • English diplomat Thomas Bodley began reviving Oxford’s (nearly defunct) library in 1598. It was reopened as the Bodleian Library in November of 1602.
  • English librarian Thomas James was the first librarian of the Bodleian Library.

Dutch printer Louis Timothee became the first salaried librarian in the American colonies in 1732.

Austrian diplomat and librarian Gottfried van Swieten created the world’s first card catalog at Austria’s Imperial Library, circa 1780.

Anthony and Antonio
Italian-born librarian Anthony Panizzi (originally Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi) was Chief Librarian of the British Museum Library during the mid-1800s.

American librarian Melvil Dewey (born Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey) invented the Dewey Decimal Classification system as a 21-year-old, in 1876.

“Keenly interested in simplified spelling, he shortened his first name to Melvil as a young adult, dropped his middle names and, for a short time, even spelled his last name as Dui” (OCLC).

American librarian Charles A. Cutter developed the Cutter Expansive Classification system in the 1890s.

American librarian William Dix was the principle author of The Freedom to Read, which was adopted by the American Library Association in 1953.

American systems analyst Henriette Davidson Avram developed the MARC standards in the late 1960s.

Ukrainian-American librarian Zoia Horn was the first U.S. librarian to be jailed for withholding information as a matter of conscience (by refusing to testify against library patrons, in 1972).

American librarian and anti-censorship activist Judith Fingeret Krug co-founded Banned Books Week in 1982.

Librarians of Congress
There have been 13 so far. Four were named John. The others were named Ainsworth, Daniel, George, Herbert, James, Lawrence, Luther, Patrick and Archibald. (That last one was three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald MacLeish.)

And now, the same two questions as always:

  • Can you come up with any other library-related baby names?
  • What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?

Sources: List of Librarians, Library of Congress