It is with sadness that we mark the passing from this life of Martin Faigel, one of the original founders of WESS as a section. He was a hard worker, a great person, and, as Marcia Pankake reminds us, a "terrific piano player who could pound out Jelly Roll Morton gracefully and with glee."
Ja, Ja, Martha Brogan has been released from Yale. More accurately, she has joined the Indiana University Libraries as Director of Collection Development. Most recently, she had been Interim Director of the Social Sciences Libraries and Information Resources at Yale University. She began her work at Yale nearly a decade ago as the Social Sciences Bibliographer. Prior to her near-decade in New Haven, Martha held two positions at the University of Minnesota: Assistant to the Vice-President in the Office of Academic Affairs and Library Coordinator for Western European Studies (the latter, ergo, connected to her being a WESSie and doing WESS things-even unto being a former chair of the section). As author of the Research Guide to Libraries and Archives in the Low Countries, she's an expert at bibliographical matters appertaining to the Low Countries (especially the Netherlands Dutch Hollandaise). We wish her success and fulfillment in her new position at Indiana.
Martha Hsu of Cornell has missed the last few ALA happenings (but who's keeping roll?). She had some health problems a year ago but reports that all is well now. Still, it made her think about how she wanted to spend her time and how much stress she wanted to live with; as a result, she's been working half-time as of last April. Fortunately, she was able to relinquish the more stressful part of her job, i.e., the administrative part, leaving her with the part she enjoys most-pure collection development. She didn't make it to Midwinter because it came early enough to conflict with her Aruba plans (would that some of the rest of us had such conflicts! ... ease is ease and Wess is Wess and ne'er the twain shall meet), but she's made arrangements to be in Washington in June and hopes to see us WESSmeisters in the City of Starr Witnesses. Speaking of Cornell, Patrick Stevens, another Cornellian, is working on an Icelandic National Digital Library in partnership with the National and University Library of Iceland. The so-called SagaNet will contain items from Cornell's Fiske Icelandic Collection as well as materials from the cold North Atlantic (No, not deck-chairs from the Titanic, but rather sagas from the National Library and the Arne Magnússonar Institute).
Tom Izbicki of Johns Hopkins University's Eisenhower Library, along with J.H. Burns, recently co-edited Conciliarism and Papalism which is but the latest in the ongoing series of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought. The publishing folks connected with the University near the Bridge over the River Cam let this publication hit the market in October of 1997. If asked to sum up the tone of this tome in ten words or less, Tom might reply: "It is conciliatory with just a touch of Papal Bull."
For those of you unfamiliar with the saga of how the city founders of Cathedral Mountain, North Carolina, decided to go with the more modest moniker of "Chapel Hill," you might ask Bob Ivey, since he earned three degrees there, two of them starting with "M" and one ending in "Ph.D." His fields of study there were French in a major way and Italian in a minor way, both of which contributed (and still do contribute) to Romance Philology. Bob taught English to French students in Paris for two years at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. Yes, he was a French Chef: his title was "Chef des travaux pratiques d'anglais." He's been Assistant Head of Cataloging at the University of Memphis for ten years, and he catalogs materials in diverse formats, but his specialty is video cassettes. He occasionally teaches French to undergrads at the University of Memphis.
Over sixteen percent of the ALA Library fellows for 1997-98 are WESS folk (two out of twelve: do the math!). Beau David Case, Ohio State University, is an ALA/USIA Library Fellow to the Biblioteca Nationala, Republica Moldova, in the capital, Chisinau. Beau is teaching courses on American management and administration to library directors, librarians, and library school students throughout the country during his five-month float on a Fellow Ship near the Black Sea. [See lead article-Ed.] Roger Brisson, social sciences cataloger at Pennsylvania State University's Pattee Library, is spending six months at the College of Technology, Economics and Culture in Leipzig, Germany. (This college, as the triple name would indicate, teaches a lot about Computers, Euro-Dollars and Yogurt). His fellowship is two-fold: (a) he teaches courses on U.S. virtual library systems and electronic publishing, and (b) he uses his own digits to help with Germany's largest digital initiative.
Jim Spohrer has been denied parole. He's been sentenced to serve another year (this academic year) as Associate University Librarian for Humanities and Area Studies in foggy Berkeley. His appointment is now through June 30, 1998. He's expected to do all this... while still serving as Librarian for the Germanic Collections. The parole board turned him down despite his relatively good behavior, proving once again (in his own humble words) that "virtue is its own punishment."
The following isn't exactly news and hasn't been since maybe the late Sixties. But did you know that Stephen Lehmann of the Penn Library is a bona fide citizen of Liechtenstein? Honest. Haven't you noticed the knowing glint in his eye whenever you say the phrase "postage stamps?" Don't you know his favorite vintage film is "The Mouse That Roared?" Stephen reports that when his grandfather left Germany with his family in 1933, he acquired Liechtenstein citizenships for all family members (since he was taking a gamble, should we call them citizen-chips?). Shortly afterwards, it became much more difficult to naturalize into The Principality. Like the Swiss, the `steiners pass the Citizen's Ship from father to son (and mother to daughter?) whether they want it or not. At the time of the Vietnam War Stephen activated his citizenship, made the passport pilgrimage to the ancestral home of Gamprin (how far do you think it can be from the capital city of Vaduz?), and has lived happily in the Liechtensteinian manner ever after.
As a swan-song to this column for Spring of 1998, allow us to introduce, for those who haven't met him yet, Bruce Swann, the Classics Librarian in the Classics Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He first came to the post late in 1994 after earning degrees in Classical Philology (1992) and Library and Information Science (1993) at Illinois. The Classics Library is one of about 40 departmental libraries in the University Library system and supports the classes and research of the Department of the Classics (plus it welcomes visiting scholars). Don't expect him to brag about his accomplishments, because that just isn't Swann's Way.
As a final footnote, the word "Philology" as opposed to "philology" has been used more than once in this column. As a clarification, the term "Philology" does not define as "the scholarly study of the comedic offerings of `Phil' Silvers."