Kudos to the Volunteers in the Library


Leo M. Dolenski

From The Fortnightly Philistine, vol. 6, no. 13 (June 1, 1900).

In addition to Cassie Pabst, whose activities on behalf of the Library are mentioned in the Archives article, the Library is very fortunate to have an outstanding cadre of volunteers who give generously of their time and expertise to difficult and time-consuming tasks which would otherwise remain undone.

After retiring from a career spanning twenty-eight years as a reference librarian and then as Head of Public Services at Bryn Mawr, Gertrude Reed and her husband Charles spent a year in Japan. She and Charlie, who had been a Professor of Psychology at Temple University, returned in 1993 and volunteered their services to Canaday Library. Trudy, after revising two manuals, one for student workers at the Circulation Desk and the other a detailed disaster planning booklet, set about to facilitate the use of the Library's collection of League of Nations official documents, the most complete set in the Philadelphia area. Together with the very able assistance of Claire Liachowitz '52, retired physician and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr, Trudy worked systematically through a collection of 557 reels of microfilm, along with a substantial number of League of Nations' paper volumes. The two re-labeled and produced preliminary, workable guides to these collections, previously difficult to use because of complicated indexes and finding aids. Trudy has recently presented the results of their work to an upper level history class which makes extensive use of these League of Nations' documents.

Eleanor Beatty '43, formerly a psychologist at Bryn Mawr's Child Study Institute and now retired, has spent many years in the College Archives indexing early student publications, including The Lantern, The Fortnightly Philistine, and Tipyn O'Bob. These publications contain the literary efforts of students both serious and light, notices and reviews of College events, and chronicles of college and student life. Her indexes give the researcher much needed entry into these, for the most part, long forgotten and unused volumes.

Charlie Reed has brought his well-honed research skills and interests to the Library's Manuscript Collection, where he has worked through hundreds of letters, compiling data required for cataloging. This information includes verifying correct forms of names, describing physical characteristics of letters, and generating brief summaries of each letter's contents. Because of his wide-ranging knowledge and interest in both the sciences and the arts, Charlie has made a substantial contribution to the work of cataloging this type of manuscript.

So it is with great satisfaction that the Library looks upon the efforts of these volunteers and what they have achieved. We thank them warmly for giving so generously of their time and skills and we look forward to many more years of their presence among us.

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