Harvard College Library-Report of Nancy M. Cline
Below is a sampling of the notable additions made to the collection across the Harvard College Library in FY 2008:
In general, film and DVD acquisitions have increased this past year within HCL. The introduction of a PhD program in Film Studies prompted aggressive collecting in preparation and support of the first class. Widener, Fine Arts, and Harvard Film Archive (HFA) staff collaborated on the purchasing and housing of items for this program. Acquisition of Latin American and Spanish DVD and video collections has increased, due in large part to requests from patrons for items such as documentary films about social movements and historical themes, and in even greater numbers for feature films made by well-known national directors. Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Colombia, and Mexico are the countries whose national cinema is most often studied at Harvard. This year a historic partnership was launched between the HFA and the Korea Institute to increase resources for the study of Korean cinema at Harvard. The institute has generously agreed to annually fund one visit from a major filmmaker, a complete retrospective of their work, and the acquisition of newly struck, English-subtitled 35 mm prints of their work for the HFA collection. In addition, Widener has increased its DVD holdings for films created in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain.
The College Library was also fortunate to receive gifts that aligned closely with our collections needs and many times represent items that we would not have been able to acquire by other means. Acquisitions activities in the Judaica Division were supplemented by receipt of three large gifts: Jewish theatre materials; Lionel Reiss artworks; and print and audiovisual materials on Israel from the Israeli Consulates in Boston and New York. Houghton Library received several gifts during the past year, such as albums and daguerreotypes of the Lowell family, which include childhood photographs of Lawrence, Percival, and Amy Lowell, and a major bequest of Daniel Pinkham’s manuscript scores. Widener Library received the first installment of a large gift of papers from Gustav Papenek, a former economic advisor to Benazir Bhutto during her terms as prime minister of Pakistan and a specialist in the national economies of Pakistan and Indonesia; the papers represent an important resource for modern South Asian studies at Harvard. Widener’s Middle Eastern Division received two important gift collections during the year: a donation of 22 boxes of books and documents belonging mainly to Nasib Arida and in fewer numbers to Abd al-Masih Haddad and Nadra Haddad, three important literary figures of the Mahjar School—Mahjar writers were persons of literary talent who emigrated to the New World from the Arab world, seeking a combination of economic opportunity and sectarian, political, and intellectual freedom; and an initial gift of eight manuscripts in Arabic and Persian for the collection of al-Sayyid Muhammad ‘Ali Da‘i al-Islam, a famous Muslim scholar and author of the Persian dictionary Farhang-i Niáº“Äm; one of the manuscript titles is an autograph, part of the work Shará¸¥ KitÄb Sibawayh by the famous 10th-century grammarian al-Sirafi. Harvard–Yenching Library was the beneficiary of 25 boxes of books given by Harvard Professor Philip Kuhn relating to the courses he taught on Chinese history and on the Overseas Chinese; it also received a gift of approximately 30 sheets of Yokohama-e (wood-block prints) and 70 volumes of books relating to Japan’s opening of its ports to the world in the 1860s.