Edith Hary was born on September 18, 1922 and grew up in Camden, Maine. Her mother was a homemaker and her father was a textile designer. After graduating from high achool, Hary moved to Northampton, Massachusetts to be an aid to a handicapped girl. She returned home and began working at the Camden Public Library. She then attended Bates College, majoring in Government with a minor in English. While at Bates, she worked in Coram Library. After graduating in 1947, she was offered a job at the State Library in Augusta. She would later become head of the Law and Reference section. She also was named citizen member of the Board of Bar Examination.
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L'Hommedieu, Andrea, "Hary, Edith oral history interview" (2004). Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection. 166.