ABOUT | STAFF LIST
|Sean Noel||Associate Director|
|Katherine Kominis||Assistant Director for Rare Books|
|Ryan Hendrickson||Assistant Director for Manuscripts|
|Alexander Rankin||Assistant Director for Acquisitions|
|J. C. Johnson||Manager of Digital Archival Resources|
|Jamison Collier||Project Manager, Howard Thurman Project|
|Perry Barton||Exhibition and Publication Coordinator|
|John Emerson||Islamic Book Cataloguer|
|Sarah Pratt||Archivist for Acquisitions|
|Jane Silva||Acquisitions Assistant|
|Diane Gallagher||Nursing History and University Archivist|
|Karen Hook||Fiscal and Development Administrator|
|Laura Russo||Manager of Public Service and Donor Relations|
|Christopher Gately||Research & Public Information Administrator|
|Bill Gallagher||Senior Systems Administrator|
|Ford Curran||Digital Preservation and Conservation Archivist|
|Brandon Ogungbadero||Senior Program Coordinator|
Vita Paladino is the Director of the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University, one of largest and most prestigious contemporary archives in the country. A native of Brooklyn, New York, she first came to the Center in 1976 when the repository was known as Special Collections, and began a 29 year apprenticeship under the tutelage of the Founder and Director, Dr. Howard Gotlieb. Dr. Gotlieb was a pioneer in the field of collecting contemporary public figures and by his example created a new frontier in the archival industry. For more than three decades Ms. Paladino served in many capacities in the Center. As Managing Director, Vita took over the acquisition activities of the Center and created an aggressive, proactive student educational outreach program consisting of classes and seminars, which allows students to have exposure to and make use of the unique manuscript holdings. Following the death of Howard Gotlieb in 2005, Vita was named Director. Ms. Paladino is committed to continuing the mission of the Center as designed by the founder. She is also committed to taking the Center in new directions regarding technology and creating programming that is designed to teach and inspire students, researchers and visitors. She believes that it is not enough to claim you have unique archival collections, you must present that material to the public by immediately listing new acquisitions and making the collections available for research, as well as for exhibitions, seminars and programs. She believes it is important to present these public figures as role models for the students studying at the University.
Vita holds her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Boston University. She serves on the boards of several Boston cultural arts organizations, as well as on the boards of the Boston University Women's Council, Friends of the Libraries and the Nursing Archives Associates. Ms. Paladino has spoken at several conferences as well as at archival industry group meetings. She serves as the Principal Investigator for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archival Collaborative Project, which is being funded through a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Project is designed to create an electronic finding aid for Boston University's Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, which will be searchable by subject headings and names, using the new open source program Archivists' Toolkit. As Dr. King's Curator, Vita feels it is imperative to find new ways to create access for the public to imbibe the words, messages and values from the rich archive of one our Country's most important public figures, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sean Noel is the Associate Director for the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. A native of Maine, he attended Boston University as an undergraduate, completed his a degree in English Literature in 1994 and went on to teach English in Aomori, Japan in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. Returning to the United States, he began working at what was then known as Special Collections in 1997. While working at Boston University, he completed a Master of Liberal Arts degree. In addition to his duties at the Center and with Boston University's Friends of the Libraries group, he serves on the advisory board of Boston University's Editorial Institute.
Sean is excited to be involved with the educational outreach program started by the Director with the goal of enriching the student experience at Boston University by granting students access to the unique materials held by the Center, and introducing them to many of the Center's extraordinary collectees.
As assistant director for rare books, Katherine Kominis finds that one of her greatest satisfactions comes in helping the [omit enabling] Boston University community connect to this unique resource for research, learning, or personal interest.
Her position encompasses many different tasks: building the rare books collection and the University's book archives through both purchasing and donations; choosing the books for exhibitions, classes and student seminars; overseeing the technical issues involved in acquiring books, cataloguing and preserving them; providing reference assistance on the collections and on the University's history; and serving as a judge for the annual HGARC student book collecting contest. All these tasks help sustain, enrich and increase the access of the Boston University community, researchers, and the general public to HGARC's priceless holdings.
"One source of knowledge that enables me to explain the relevance of a particular book or collection to our students and faculty is the opportunity I have to work with the people who donate materials to the HGARC-in many cases, our 'collectees,' whose works make up the archive, or to view an entire book collection as it arrives at HGARC. With this knowledge, for example, I can place a book in a student's hands, and explain that it came from library of actress Irene Worth. Worth conducted thorough research for each of her stage roles, reading primary and secondary texts and writing notes in the margins of her books to help her determine how to play her characters. To judge from the books she left us that are personally inscribed by the authors, she also loved art and poetry. Any student doing research on one of the 20th century's great actresses or on the American stage at this time can now make use of this invaluable resource.
"Two groups I particularly like to work with are University faculty members and rare book dealers. Their deep knowledge and love of their fields enables me advance my expertise in the history of rare books and their contents, and helps me make informed decisions when choosing particular books for the HGARC collection."
When Kominis arrived at the Center in 1982, she had a master's degree in library science, and experience working at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book Library and with a noted New Haven book dealer. She has gone on to earn as master's [a Master] of liberal arts degree at Boston University Metropolitan College, and a certificate of advanced graduate study in language, literacy, and cultural studies at the School of Education.
Ryan Hendrickson is the Assistant Director for Manuscripts for the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Originally from New Jersey, he came to Boston in 1993 to attend New England Conservatory as a bassoonist. He later enrolled in Boston University's University Professors Program, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1998. He began working at the Gotlieb Center in July 2000, and received an MLS from Simmons College's Graduate School for Library and Information Science in 2002.
"You collect people's papers?"
"We hear this question, usually accompanied by a slightly quizzical or confused look, fairly often," says Parry Barton, exhibition coordinator at HGARC. "'Papers' can be a sort of catch-all phrase. It encompasses written manuscripts, the most classical of all 'papers,' as well as correspondence, photographs, diaries, random notes, scrapbooks, and citations of all sizes and importance. Some of our journalists have given us their reporter's notebooks, which provide records of events and interviews with notable people as they occurred. Some of our actors have donated their annotated scripts-documents which enable us to understand their work more fully."
But Barton often finds that the best way to answer this question is by showing rather than telling. And that is his function at the Center. Barton assembles the exhibitions-contemporary and historical-that enable the public to view first-hand the Center's magnificent collections. "These exhibitions show what sort of material our collections contain," says Barton. "Each exhibition tells a story. What kind of story is directly tied to the materials the collection contains. That, then, becomes part of the question we ask as we organize each exhibition: what story do we want to tell with this material? Hopefully, at the end of the exhibition, the viewer can say, 'Well, that was a good story. What's next?'"
For nearly a decade, Archivist J.C. Johnson has catalogued many HGARC collections and has worked closely with hundreds of scholars who use them for their research. He also collaborates with the Acquisitions Department and donors as new materials arrive. He also conducts student lectures both at the Center and in classrooms, helping the Center expand its outreach to the University community. In 2008, he curated an exhibition of the Bette Davis archive (on display until fall 2009).
"My experiences at the Center have taught me many things," says J.C., "but I particularly enjoy working with the scholars who use the archives, especially when you can see how excited they become when they find information that would have been lost to the ages if Boston University hadn't collected and stored the records. When I mention this to our collectees, it's fun to see their reactions as they realize the service we provide to scholars and see how their papers will serve as vital historical records."
Diane Gallagher serves two roles at the Center, nursing history archivist and University archivist. "My professional background in human resources (40 long years in that field) has assisted me greatly in my archival life here at HGARC," she explains. "Dealing with nursing scholars for the past eight years has given me the opportunity to delve into the 'humanness' of the nurses whose records and works we collect-from Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern day nursing, to nursing organizations in the forefront of nursing today."
She also takes care of the documents that make up the "rich and diversified history of a university that graduated women in all fields long before women were accepted as equals," says Gallagher. "My responsibility to the Gotlieb Center is to ensure that all scholars who come have access the best materials to use in their research and to respond to their queries in a timely manner. I also have a lot of fun finding out how much I do not know and educating myself over and over again. I love my job!"
Karen Hook was introduced to the manuscript world during her tenure at a rare books and manuscript gallery in New York City. Upon moving to Boston in 2003, she decided to explore manuscripts in the academic sphere and joined the staff of HGARC. As public service and fiscal administrator, she spends most of her time handling the department's financial matters but considers her most rewarding work preparing and implementing Center events and working with members of the Friends of the Libraries, the Center's patron group. Born and raised in New York City, she earned her undergraduate degree in history with a minor in art history from the University of Virginia and received her master's in arts administration from Boston University in 2008.
Born and raised in the Boston area, Laura Russo graduated with honors from Boston University College of Communication with a bachelor of science degree in mass communications. While still in school, she took on a student job at the Center (then named Special Collections), which introduced her to the world of archival research. After graduating, she decided to take a full-time position as staff coordinator, working very closely with the Center's founder and director Howard Gotlieb. Now more than ten years later, she is the administrative coordinator for donor relations and enjoys working with the wonderfully talented international scholars who come to the Center to conduct research as well as with the many prominent people whose papers are housed here.
In addition to handling questions about the collections and requests for appointments to use the Center's holdings, Laura is a member of the public service team, which develops and manages the Friends Speaker Series, the Student Enrichment Series, and other student outreach programs. She also is part of the team that keeps the director up to date on the lives and careers of the Center's "collectees," helping to maintain the sense of family that the Center is known for.
As HGARC's research and public information administrator, Christopher Gately is Center's media contact. A member of the Center's public service team, Christopher is in charge of event promotion, both on and outside of campus. He is the point person for press releases, advertisements and event flyers and posters. Christopher also works closely with the Associate Director on HGARC's student outreach initiatives and the Center's Student Advisory Council, which was created to harness the enormous energy and creativity of Boston University's 25,000 students on campus. Christopher graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in Political Science and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in Urban Planning.
As senior systems administrator, Andy Kurmakov's work ranges from website design and maintenance to supporting the advanced technologies that the Center's students, staff and visitors use. "As archival technologies continue to advance, it is my responsibility to assess these new developments and work closely with the Center's director and associate director to implement them, as well as to provide the highest level of service to scholars from all over the world who use them. My job's greatest rewards come from helping answer questions about these new technologies. I am grateful to be part of the team that makes HGARC a world-class research facility.
Acquisitions coordinator for HGARC, Jennifer Pino oversees the arrival and processing of all new materials. Working with a group of student interns, she helps organize new acquisitions and produce preliminary lists to assist researchers. Jennifer received a bachelor's degree in history and a master's in library and information science from Louisiana State University with a concentration in archival studies. Before joining the Center, she served as a general librarian in the Manuscripts Department at Hill Memorial Library in Baton Rouge.
As acquisitions assistant, Adam Dixon aids in the processing of new materials, assists researchers both in person and online, and plays an integral role in the Center's day-to-day operations. He is pursuing a master's degree in English at the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University. "I receive no greater satisfaction," says Dixon, "than when I meet a researcher utterly brimming with enthusiasm upon first pouring through one of our collections, telling me how rich in information these documents are, how thankful they are that they have been preserved, and how useful they will be for generations to come."
With a bachelor's degree from Boston College in American history and fine arts, Ford Curran is now pursuing a master of science degree at Boston University Metropolitan College. He is an accomplished painter, and his works have been shown at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, in various local galleries, and in the dean's office at Metropolitan College. His paintings have also been published in literary magazines and used commercially by academic institutions.
When night falls, Curran takes on his second career as a disc jockey and events promoter, appearing regularly at nightclubs in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. He also rides a 1964 Piaggio Vespa, and every summer in Boston he organizes an antique scooter rally and motorcade, which draws hundreds of enthusiasts from around the world.
Native New Englander C. Edward (Ted) Murphy returned to his roots after spending more than 20 years living and working in Manhattan. As an undergraduate and Trustee Scholar at Boston University, the English and history major began an association with the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center (then known as the Department of Special Collections) as a file clerk and later as an archivist. Working with Gotlieb and his staff, Murphy had the opportunity to learn archival techniques, assist scholars with their research, and build personal relationships with several of the Center's collectees, including screenwriter Helen Deutsch and producer Irene Mayer Selznick.
After earning a master's in business administration from Boston University, he moved to New York City and spent more than two decades in electronic publishing, first at the Foundation Center, where he created the Information Control Department and compiled and edited several publications including the Guide to U.S. Foundations, The National Guide to Funding in Aging and AIDS Funding; and then at Baseline, a web-based company that serves the entertainment industry. In the latter position, Murphy built and expanded a database of biographies of more than 8,000 people and compiled a database of film reviews. He went on to become a founding member of New York Film Critics Online and owns and operates the website Murphy's Movies Reviews. Throughout his years in New York, Murphy retained his ties with the Center, meeting potential donors to answer questions and examine their collections; assisting donors in packing and shipping their papers and memorabilia to the Center; and taking on research and writing projects.
When Gotlieb's successor Vita Paladino informed Murphy of the opportunity to prepare a revised and more detailed finding aid for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Collection, he knew it was a unique opportunity that would help preserve one of the Gotlieb Center's most important holdings and promote the legacy of one of the 20th century's most influential figures.
"What some people don't realize is that Martin Luther King, Jr., easily could have pursued graduate studies at other institutions," says Murphy. "He chose Boston University because of one man-Edgar Sheffield Brightman. His time in Boston is key to the development of his philosophical beliefs.
"And let's not forget that it was in Boston that he met Coretta Scott, his partner in life and in the civil rights movement. It's my hope that the work we do on Dr. King's papers will help people understand his legacy and importance. He's an icon but he was also a human being, and that comes through in his writings and his correspondence. Hopefully, the work we've done on the collection will assist scholars for years to come and will make their work a bit easier."
Tywanna Whorley is an assistant professor in the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a project archivist at HGARC, where she assists in processing the King papers in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Archive. After earning master's degrees in history from the University of Virginia and in social history from Carnegie Mellon University, she went on to earn a doctorate in library science from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught courses in the introduction to archives; archival access and advocacy; management of records and information resources; and intellectual freedom. Her research focuses on government archives and the relationships among issues of access, privacy and collective memory. Author of articles on the management of medical records of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, her most recent study, "The Tuskegee Syphilis Study: Access and Control over Controversial Records." was published in Political Pressure and the Archival Record.
"When offered the opportunity to work on the King papers, I could not say no," says Whorley. "Processing a collection of this magnitude has been a rich experience. I chose to process the works relating to Dr. King's first book Stride Toward Freedom because I wanted to fully understand the thoughts of a young man, just graduated with a Ph.D. from Boston University, newly married, and serving as the pastor of a middle-class church that included doctors, lawyers, teachers and professors, as he took on the institution of segregation in local buses in Montgomery, Alabama. Thinking about the struggles of Dr. King and the African-American community and about the boycott's success reminds me of Mahalia Jackson's song at the March on Washington, 'How I Made it Over.'"
Whorley's responsibilities include processing the collection and making it Internet accessible to everyone through an online finding aid, one of HGARC's highest priorities. "The collection has already provided the basis for important scholarly studies. What is important to remember is that the general public also wants access to these records so they can more fully understand the man behind the myth," says Whorley.
"Personally, working on this project has been a humbling experience. Even though King earned a doctorate, he did not allow it to define him. In the eyes of the oppressor, whether or not you had a degree, you were still considered a second-class citizen. The Negro or White Only signs applied to all African Americans, those with advanced degrees as well as those who were laborers and domestic workers. Dr. King opened his heart to the many, not just the few. Everyone had a stake in destroying the institution of segregation, and he was able to pull them all together.
"One of my favorite King sermons is 'The Drum Major Instinct.' At the end, he discusses how he would like to be remembered: 'Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn't important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards. ... Tell them not to mention where I went to school.' He hopes rather, he explains, that people would say he '...tried to give his life serving others, ... to be right on the war question, ... to feed the hungry, ... to clothe those who were naked, ... to love and serve humanity.'
"Without a doubt, King was a drum major for peace, justice and righteous," says Whorley. "After reading this sermon over and over, I asked myself how would I liked to be remembered. Earning degrees, teaching and working on this collection are important, but it's the intangible that matters. How do I use these things to make a difference? This is my challenge. More importantly, I challenge everyone. For me, this is one of King's legacies."
Steven D. Booth is a second-year master's candidate at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where he is concentrating in archives management. He received his bachelor's in music from Morehouse College, King's alma mater, and was named a Mellon Librarian Recruitment Program Scholar in 2007 and more recently a Spectrum Scholar of the American Library Association. Booth has worked at the Simmons College library and archive, at the New England Conservatory of Music, and at the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago. His research interests include archival advocacy, outreach and collection development with a specialty in the works of African Americans in the performing arts and in civil rights.
"My work here focuses on arranging and describing Dr. King's correspondence relating to Stride Toward Freedom, his autobiographical account of the Montgomery bus boycott; to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and to educational institutions and organizations," says Booth. "These materials illustrate Dr. King's close relationships with civil rights activists as well as with the general public, and show how he became a leader for all races.
"As an Morehouse College alumnus and archivist of color, I am particularly proud to be involved in this work. It will give current and future generations the opportunity to study first-hand and appreciate civil-rights struggles by providing access to the accounts of individuals around the world who looked to Dr. King for leadership, advice and inspiration."
Anne Blaschke, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the History Department at Boston University, is pursuing studies in 20th-century U.S. political and social history. Hailing from Santa Barbara, CA, she holds a BA from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MA in American History from BU. Blaschke is the author of "The History of Chocolate in New England, 1700-1920," a chapter in a volume on the history of chocolate to be published by Blackwell in early 2008. Her dissertation will address connections between race, politics, and athletics in the late 1960s in the United States.
Jennifer Quigley studies literature and theology in the University Professors Program. Her thesis examines the use of narrative space within the Gospel of John. Quigley's areas of academic interest include New Testament Studies and Homiletics. She plans to attend Boston University's School of Theology next year to pursue a Masters of Divinity.