Maude Dorrance French was born on August 31, 1900. She attended Simmons College from which she graduated with a library degree in 1923. She worked for the Detroit Public Library and the New York Public Library before joining the staff at Baker Library at Dartmouth College in 1928. In 1929, she became the art librarian, a position she held until her retirement in 1963. French died on April 14, 1985.