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Dartmouth College Library Bulletin

Virginia Lee Close


This volume is dedicated to Virginia Lee Close, reference librarian, bibliographer, and for many years editor of the Dartmouth College Library Bulletin. Miss Close has been a part of and has served the Dartmouth College community from 1945 to her retirement in 1993.

Miss Close is someone who stands apart from even the most distinguished in the field of librarianship. She is the consummate professional, the consummate librarian. She has witnessed many changes in Dartmouth as an academic institution since 1945. She has been a part of an ongoing evolution in libraries and librarianship. Yet at every step, every turn, she has met the then present challenge and moved forward to be a provider par excellence to each succeeding generation of faculty members and students.

Assisting a student, 1955

There is no better way to capture the essence of Virginia Lee Close and what she means to Dartmouth College than to review the words of the citation associated with the College's bestowal of a Master of Arts upon Miss Close in September of 1986:

VIRGINIA LEE CLOSE - The idea of Dartmouth College without Baker Library is veritably unthinkable. That of Baker Library without Virginia Close is scarcely less so. Through 41 of the Library's 58 years, you have been one of its most precious resources. Indeed, it may be said that a reference librarian of your calibre is more to be treasured within a community of scholars than are the contents of a so-called 'Treasure Room,' because even the rarest of rare books cannot enrich and enliven the work of an entire community as can a caring, talented person such as you. You, Miss Close, have enriched and enlivened the constituency here-students, faculty, visiting researchers, and fellow librarians- through your professional skill, as well as by your devotion, ingenuity, precision, perseverance, and modesty. It is this last quality that has caused you to emphasize the importance you attach to having today's occasion honoring you also viewed as honoring service to the College by others. It is with special regard and admiration for your uniqueness of spirit and intellect, for your grace and excellence, that Dartmouth gratefully bestows upon you the degree of Master of Arts.
She represents the very best of what one associates with Dartmouth College and her chosen profession.

Honorary degree, 1986