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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1325 May 2005

Bryant Fellowships Awarded for 2004-2005

The Harvard University Library has announced the recipients of this year's Bryant Fellowships. According to University Library Director Sidney Verba, Caroline Duroselle-Melish, Susan Halpert, and Barbara Mitchell have been awarded the fellowships for 2004-2005. Through the generosity of Charles and Mary Tanenbaum, the Bryant Fellowships—which are named in honor of former University Librarian Douglas W. Bryant—have been awarded annually since 1974. The fellowships support research by Harvard's professional library staff in bibliography, in historical aspects of librarianship, in production of reference and bibliographic works, and in other scholarly investigations, which may be outside the field of librarianship.

This year's recipients were chosen by Bryant Fellowship jury members Doug Campbell, Ksenya Kiebuzinski, and Jan Voogd. That jury, which was appointed by the Professional Development Committee of the Librarians' Assembly, recommended the following members of Harvard's library community for the Bryant awards.

Caroline Duroselle-Melish

Assistant Curator
Printing and Graphic Arts
Houghton Library
Harvard College Library
"Scientific Illustrations of Monsters in Early Modern Europe"

The award will be used to continue research on scientific illustrations of monsters in early modern Europe and the relationships between scientific discourse, artistic culture, and the printing techniques used to convey images. The project entails a study of the creation of the illustrations for the book Monstrorum historia by 16th-century scientist Ulisse Aldrovandi, who is one of the best-documented scientists of his era. Aldrovandi was well known for his teachings on natural history at the University of Bologna, his writings, and his collection of natural curiosities. Although the iconography in his other treatises on natural history has been studied, very little attention has been paid to his illustrations of "monsters."

Susan Halpert

Reference Librarian
Public Services
Houghton Library
Harvard College Library
"Melesinda Munbee's Miscellany"

The award will be used to continue research on Melesinda Munbee's Miscellany, a manuscript that had its origins in a family in Suffolk, England, but is now in Houghton Library's care. The manuscript, two volumes of poems by writers such as Swift and Dryden, is dated 1749 and dedicated to Valentine Munbee by his daughter Melesinda, who claimed to be "5 years & 5 months" old at the time she wrote it.

Barbara Mitchell

Head of Public Services
Frances Loeb Library
Harvard Design School
"Boston and Cambridge Libraries, 1850-1875: A Study in Social, Cultural, and Technological Transformation"

The award will be used to continue research in the archives of the Boston Public Library, the Massachusetts State Library, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Harvard College Library for the period 1850 to 1875. In each institution the same pattern of growth and change occurred: a significant increase in collections presaged the need for new, standardized catalogs and for a new labor force to produce them—educated, middle-class women willing to work for low wages. Heretofore, historians have focused only on 1870 and beyond for evidence of women entering the clerical work-force and the staff of research libraries, and there is very little written about the broader impact of the library catalog as proto-technology, an information management and retrieval system.

 

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