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Staff Activities

Priscilla Anderson, conservator for special collections in the University Library, and Ethel Hellman, collections conservator for Widener Library, joined three colleagues from across the US in a seventeen-day visit to Cuba, where they conducted two book conservation workshops. The first, on basic repair, brought together 16 individuals from 13 Cuban institutions for instruction on paper mending, hinge repair, corner repair, and other basics. The second workshop acquainted experienced Cuban bookbinders—many of whom were trained in Europe or Russia—with American techniques for board reattachment. "At the end of each workshop," Hellman noted, "we gave those who attended a variety of conservation tools to take with them. Although we were far from the commercial glitter of Christmas, as we laid out the tools at each of their workstations, it felt just like Christmas Eve."

When Ken Carpenter retired in December 2000, his plans included completing a bibliographical study of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Carpenter's book, entitled The Dissemination of the Wealth of Nations in French and in France 1776-1843, was published in January by the Bibliographical Society of America. The book serves as an anthology of contemporary critical response to a text that was initially marginalised by the government and the book trade, subsequently adopted by intellectuals seeking an ideological basis for the French Revolution, and ultimately established as a canonical work of economic thought.

In February, Kathryn Jacob, the Johanna-Maria Fraenkel Curator of Manuscripts at the Schlesinger Library, gave a talk entitled "Dear Diary: Evesdropping on History Through Women's Diaries" at the winter meeting of the Women's National Book Association.

A short critical note by Page Nelson, cataloger in the Frances Loeb Library of the Harvard Design School, entitled "Who is Sylvia? Plath Reading Townsend Warner," appeared in the Winter 2002 issue of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society Newsletter. Nelson also attended ancient urbanism and archaeology sections at January's annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Philadelphia.

Michael P. Olson, librarian for Germanic collections at Widener Library, recently had an article published in the Western European Studies Section Newsletter entitled "An American in Taipei." The article appears online at In addition, Olson finished the paper, "New Books from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland: A Bibliography on the Occasion of the 53rd Frankfurt Book Fair, 10-15 October 2001."

Kathleen Hunter Rutter, head of the French/Italian Division for HCL Technical Services, published an article in the fall 2001 WESS Newsletter entitled "Romani Studies: a Summary of the Special Topics Discussion Group Program at ALA," co-written by Sebastian Hierl, University of Chicago. The article describes the situation of the Romani in Western Europe and the ALA program held in June 2001, at which Rutter spoke on institutions with significant Romani research collections. Also presenting was Leena Siegelbaum, bibliographer for Eastern European law, Harvard Law School Library, who spoke on gypsies of Eastern Europe.

Martin Schreiner, head of the Morse Music Library in Hilles Library, was commissioned by the Melrose Symphony Orchestra to write a suite for the orchestra's holiday concerts, "American December," which premiered on December 7. At the orchestra's request, the music in this interfaith piece incorporates traditional Christmas and Hanukkah melodies. Schreiner's "Hanukkah Celebration" for orchestra was recently performed by the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra. His duo for shakuhachi and koto, "Sunlight among the Pines," premiered in May at a concert sponsored by the Japanese consulate in Boston.

Alison Scott, Charles Warren Bibliographer for American History in Widener, recently published "Romance in the Stacks; or, Popular Romance Fiction Imperiled," an essay on cultural politics of collection development. The piece was included in a collection of essays entitled Scorned Literature: Essays on the History and Criticism of Popular Mass-produced Fiction in America edited by Lydia Cushman Schurman and Deirdre Johnson and issued by the Greenwood Press.

Lynn Shirey, assistant librarian for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal in Widener, recently co-edited the revised 5th edition of the Directory of Vendors of Latin American Library Materials as part of the Bibliography and Reference Series for the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials. The directory has been updated to include vendors' and distributors' e-mail and web addresses, and is now indexed according to the country in which the vendor is located and by country coverage. The 5th edition was published in 2001 with the help of co-editor Sandra Pike Raichel of Libros de Vientos Tropicales.

On February 28, the sixtieth anniversary of the opening of the Houghton Library, Oak Knoll Press published A Library-Keeper's Business: Essays by Roger E. Stoddard, selected and edited by Carol Z. Rothkopf, preface by Stephen Weissman. This 480-page volume collects work both published and unpublished, much of it relating to Houghton Library events or collections, and the contents are arranged to feature various aspects of the "business," such as student, teacher, historian, bibliographer, etc.

David Whitesell, rare book cataloger at Houghton Library, recently gave a lecture at Tulane University entitled, "Rubén Darío at Harvard: Books and Manuscripts from the Poet's Library." The lecture was cosponsored by Tulane's Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

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Last modified on Thursday, April 18, 2002.