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Harvard College Library—Report of Nancy M. Cline

Notable Events

Notable Events

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Many significant events have taken place over the past year involving the Library and its collections and staff.

The Library saw resolution to the case involving E. Forbes Smiley’s theft of maps from Houghton Library, as well as from other libraries. At the conclusion of the judicial process in 2006, nine maps were returned to Harvard. Three maps still have not been recovered at this time. Beginning in January 2007, Mr. Smiley began serving a 42-month sentence in federal prison.

In 2006, the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press published Emily Dickinson’s Herbarium: A Fascimile Edition, produced from Dickinson’s compilation of pressed flowers and plants held at Houghton Library. The herbarium has long been a part of the Emily Dickinson Collection at Houghton Library, but due to its fragility the original had been in a vault for years—the last significant Dickinson Collection item completely off-limits to researchers. Now they can finally examine what lies within this full-size, full-color reproduction of Dickinson’s album. The volume was recognized in 2007 by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), which chose the herbarium as one of 50 books with outstanding overall design quality. Additionally, the Association of Research Libraries featured Houghton’s Emily Dickinson Collection in its 75th anniversary publication and web site, Celebrating Research: Rare and Special Collections from the Membership of the Association of Research Libraries, profiling selected rare and special collections from major research libraries of North America.

Harvard Review, the literary journal published by Houghton Library, earned recognition for its writing and design. For the fifth consecutive year, at least one piece from the Harvard Review has been selected for inclusion in the Best American series—a showcase for the year’s finest poetry, short stories, and essays since 1915—while two of the journal’s covers were chosen for Print magazine’s 2006 Regional Design Annual.

The Boston Theatre Critics Association bestowed an Elliot Norton Award on the Harvard Theatre Collection for its vital role in serving the theater community. The Harvard Theatre Collection is the only library that has been honored in this way by the Boston Critics Association.

The George Edward Woodberry Poetry Room collaborated on an audio project that garnered a Grammy nomination.

In September 2006, Loeb Music Library celebrated its 50th anniversary, holding a symposium with the Department of Music and producing a commemorative volume of the Harvard Library Bulletin.

Tozzer Library reached a milestone in its 140-year history in September 2006 with the addition of the 250,000th volume to its collection of anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology materials. To mark the occasion, the library hosted the exhibition Codices, Chimpanzees, and Curanderas: From the Field to the Shelf, to celebrate the literature of anthropology and to display Tozzer’s newest book, a rare volume entitled Neu-Eröffnetes Amphi-Theatrum for short—the full, highly descriptive title runs to more than 70 words—forming part three of a five-volume set. Translating to The Newly Opened Amphitheater, it was published in 1723 by an anonymous German who decided to educate his fellow Europeans by writing a book about indigenous Americans—their appearance, houses, customs, religions, wars, general lifestyle, and more.

The HCL Macro Development and Distribution Working Group was selected to receive this year’s Carol Ishimoto Award for Distinguished Service, recognizing their work in analyzing and providing solutions to longstanding issues around the use of macros in the Harvard College Library. Macros are small, end-user-created programs, allowing the reproduction of keystrokes, mouseclicks, and other computer functions within a single computer application or across multiple applications. They increase productivity, reduce repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) related to extensive keying and mousing, and ensure uniformity and accuracy of coding, which all have obvious benefits in a library setting. The group’s recommendations have been adopted and are being implemented across HCL.

The online vendor for Anthropological Literature, a bibliographic index to articles in journals and edited works received by Tozzer Library, changed from the Research Libraries Group (RLG) to the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) after the two organizations merged.

Loeb Music Library staff worked with staff of the Tulane University Music Library throughout the year to help rebuild Tulane’s music collection, which was devastated in Hurricane Katrina. Even though some of Tulane’s resources will eventually be salvaged, there was a critical need for music books and scores to allow teaching to resume. Loeb Music was able to contribute substantial numbers of duplicate gift books to assist in rebuilding Tulane.