Florence Fearrington HRP ’61 and her husband James W. Needham recently endowed the position of Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library. The announcement of the gift was made at a dinner last spring in honor of Ms. Fearrington and Mr. Needham who earlier this year endowed the James W. Needham Chief Conservator for Special Collections in the Harvard University Library and the Harvard College Library (currently held by Pamela Spitzmueller).

“The library is privileged to have Florence Fearrington and Jim Needham as friends and benefactors. They share our commitment to building and preserving the collections and they understand the importance of making rare and special collections accessible to students as well as to renowned scholars. I greatly appreciate their generosity and value their support,” said Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College.

Ms. Fearrington is the former president and founder of Florence Fearrington Inc., an investment management firm, and is now with the US Trust Company of New York. She sits on the board of the Bibliographical Society of America and the Grolier Club. Both she and her husband are avid book collectors and have a notable collection of works on conchology. Mr. Needham is a member of the Overseers’ Committee to Visit the University Library.

William P. Stoneman is the first head of Houghton Library to hold the Fearrington librarianship. “I am honored and deeply touched that Florence Fearrington has recognized this position and made this long-term goal of my predecessors and the Harvard College Library a reality. This gift recognizes the work of the distinguished Librarians who proceeded me and lays a foundation for our successors. Houghton Library is known throughout the world as a valuable cultural resource and I thank Florence for her understanding of its mission and for her generosity.”

A scholar of medieval studies as well as a librarian, Dr. Stoneman assumed the position of Librarian of Houghton Library in 1997. He came to Harvard from Princeton University, where he had served as the Librarian of Scheide Library since 1988. Since his arrival, Dr. Stoneman has made increased access to the collections a priority by supporting the retrospective conversion of the library’s backlog and the development of electronic finding aids for manuscripts. With his staff he is working to increase awareness of the collections at Harvard and throughout the larger scholarly world. He has placed emphasis on the role of the Houghton collections in teaching and research by proactively involving faculty, students, and donors with the library.

Dr. Stoneman did his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto, holds an M.A. from University College, Dublin, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London), a Councillor of the Medieval Academy of America, a board member of the Bibliographical Society of America, and a member of the Grolier Club and other scholarly organizations. Dr. Stoneman actively publishes and is frequently invited to speak throughout North America and Europe.


Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College