1781, "one who has the care or custody of anything" (a library, a lunatic, etc.), from custody (Latin custodia) + -an. In this sense Middle English had custode (late 14c.), custodier (late 15c.). As "janitor," by 1944, American English, short for custodian-janitor (by 1899). Related: Custodianship.
c. 1700, "pertaining to or founded by antiquarian Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1570-1631), especially in reference to the library in the British Museum, named for him. He donated some books to the state and his grandson donated the rest. It was badly damaged in a fire in 1731. The surname represents Old English cotum, plural of cot "cottage."
library classification system that organizes information into 10 broad areas subdivided numerically into progressively smaller topics, by 1885, named for Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) who proposed it 1876 while acting librarian of Amherst College. He also crusaded for simplified spelling and the metric system.
"librarian," 1610s, from Latin bibliothecarius "a librarian," noun use of an adjective, from bibliotheca "library, room for books; collection of books," from Greek bibliothēkē, literally "book-repository," from biblion "book" (see biblio-) + thēkē "case, chest, sheath" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put"). An earlier form in English was bibliothecar (1580s), and compare bibliothec.
WANTED, an experienced LADY ASSISTANT, good salesperson, for a Bookseller's and Stationer's Shop, with Library. Permanent to a suitable person. Apply W. PORTER and SONS, Herald Office, Blackpool. [advertisement in The Bookseller, May 4, 1875]
"a guardian; one who has care or superintendence of something," late 14c., curatour "a parish priest," from Latin curator "overseer, manager, guardian," agent noun from curatus, past participle of curare (see cure (v.)). From early 15c. in reference to those put in charge of minors, lunatics, etc.; meaning "officer in charge of a museum, library, etc." is from 1660s. Related: Curatorship.
1590s, "a small study in a cloister," from Medieval Latin carula "enclosure in a cloister in which to sit and read," which is of unknown origin; perhaps from Latin corolla "little crown, garland," used in various senses of "ring" (for example, in a c. 1330 description of Stonehenge: "þis Bretons renged about þe feld, þe karole of þe stones beheld"); extended to precincts and spaces enclosed by rails, etc. Specific sense of "private cubicle in a library" is from 1912.
1610s, "any means of supplying a want or deficiency," from French resourse "a source, a spring," noun use of fem. past participle of Old French resourdre "to rally, raise again," from Latin resurgere "rise again" (see resurgent).
The meaning "possibility of aid or assistance" (often with a negative) is by 1690s; the meaning "expedient, device, shift" also is from 1690s. Resources as "a country's wealth, means of raising money and supplies" is recorded by 1779. A library resource center was so called by 1968.