1997 Fall - Personal & Institutional News

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Column Editor: Richard Hacken

Vol. 21, no. 1

WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 1997 > Personal & Institutional News



Welcome to the "Getting To Know You" Theme-Song Refrain of the Personal and Institutional News Column. (This is by popular request: many people have been asking me to "refrain" for a long time.) The individuals featured below are new to WESS or at least relatively "new" to me, either because (a) I don't get around much anymore, or (b) I met all of them 15 years ago but have to be reintroduced from time to time due to creeping senility.
Marianna McKim's present position at Yale-subject specialist for Germanic Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature in the Sterling Memorial Library, which she has held since October of 1996, is her first as a professional librarian. Marianna completed her M.S. in the summer of '96 at Drexel, having been a Graduate Assistant in the Computing Resource Center for two years. It was preceding the "Drexel-Wechsel," while managing the Institute for German Cultural Studies at Cornell University, that her "other job" -- as a reference assistant at the graduate library there -- inspired her to get into our noble bibliothecal profession. Prior to working at Cornell, she'd spent several years earning her M.A. in German Language & Literature from Middlebury College (including two summers as a Teaching Assistant, a semester at the FU Berlin, and a year teaching at Rutgers). She had also worked at a nature center and in a bookstore: hence she is comfortable around both crawdads and magazines. Her language skills come largely from having grown up speaking Danish (her mother is Danish), and being fortunate enough to travel and live abroad. (She did much more of this before flying began to terrify her). During college, she studied in Vienna for a year and then spent another year there working for an Indian garment manufacturer. Marketing clothing collections to boutiques throughout Austria, Marianna also traveled several times to Delhi to oversee production. Unfortunately, she has forgotten all of her Hindi except for a few catch phrases that rarely come in handy (such as: "This button is good"). While in library school, she organized and raised funds for a lecture by Andreas Riedlmayer (Harvard) about the destruction of libraries and other cultural institutions in Bosnia. She has been an abstractor for IFBA/RRE since 1995. She also sings, makes up songs, and plays the guitar. (Attention, Norman Ross, here's another music-maker for your hootenannies...)
Robert Kusmer was appointed German/Humanities original cataloger at Notre Dame in February of 1997. At this point his duties consist of original cataloging of German monographs with an emphasis on those in the humanities. He is also very interested in collection development and bibliography issues in the area of German language and literature. Robert received a Ph.D. in German language and literature from Northwestern University and an M.L.S. from Kent State. The German program at NU was heavily oriented toward philosophical/intellectual contexts of literature, matching his interests in both literature and philosophy from the Enlightenment to the mid-twentieth century (when people weren't so enlightened anymore). He has been a lecturer at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, and has taught cataloging for the School of Library Science at Kent State. In addition, he has been the recipient of stipends for study in Germany at the University of Konstanz and the Goethe-Institut Prien. Robert was previously head of technical services at the Mentor Public Library in Ohio, where he did it all: technical services, reference, collection development and, of course, Mentoring. But now, as mentioned, he has moved on to the library at Notre Dame, the institution with the famous "Touchdown Jesus" on its facade.
H.C. Meyer's Drang nach Osten: Fortunes of a Slogan-Concept in German-Slavic Relations, 1849-1990 (Bern: Peter Lang, 1996) reminds us that the German beast is not nearly so bad as imagined by Slavic nationalists. Some such idea may have prompted Jim Niessen of Texas Tech to venture among the Wessies at the Pre-Conference in San Francisco. That, and the fact that his library work at Tech (as librarian for history and foreign languages) has much more to do with French, German, and Classical studies than with the tiny Russian program there, not to mention his research specialty in Hungarian and Romanian history. Some of the WESS events in the City by the Bay offered refreshing reminders that East meets West across a far broader span of territory than our graduate history departments tend to recognize. Jim is Review Editor of HABSBURG, the Internet list for the history of the Habsburg monarchy and its successor states, member of the H-Net (History-Net) Executive Committee, and Chair of H-Net's Review Committee. HABSBURG is where the less technophobic of the East Europeanists congregate shoulder-to-Austro-Hungarian-shoulder with specialists in the Empire of Megalomania (thus spake one visitor Gellneresquely [Ed. Note: I believe Jim is referring to Ernest Gellner, political scientist and prolific author of books including Culture, Identity and Politics ]), but the HABSBURGers also exercise exemplary tolerance of those who persist in imagining that Kakania was a German community. HABSBURG, as featured in the Fall 1997 Bits and Bytes Column, now reviews more books (in English, German, and Hungarian) on the history of this region each year than any print publication -- from one to two books each week; come visit them online.
Larry Hinman began work at Ohio State libraries on a contract basis in March of this year and has recently become a full-time reference librarian at that particular Columbus establishment. The overall collection at OSU is around 5 million volumes, a lot to "refer" to at the reference area. The OSU server is pretty impressive, with around 100 electronic indexes -- some would say that as a server it ranks right up there with Martina Hingis. But back to Larry. Larry's major research interests are in French literary bibliography and in the history of the book review. He was fascinated with the Kolb papers presentation in San Francisco, both because he is interested in Proust and because he had met Professor Kolb at Illinois when he was an undergraduate. Before coming to OSU, he was for ten years the bibliographer for modern languages and linguistics at Boston University.
Speaking of first-rate collections and the first-rate people that people them, Sue Waterman's official job title at the Johns Hopkins Eisenhower Library is Resource Services Librarian (RSL) for German & Romance Languages & Literature. As such, she is responsible for collection development of the French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin American, Portuguese, Scandinavian, and Dutch collections. This means that the area between New Zealand and Borneo has to be covered by someone else altogether. She is, however, the temporary RSL for Art History while there is a vacancy in that position. Her subject degree is in French (NYU in France) and so she regularly audits graduate seminars in the French Department. Last spring, Roger Chartier gave one such seminar, and she is working on a paper for him based on a project she did at LC (on a nineteenth-century collection of French publishing materials). Her special interest is the history of the book, and she is also working on a paper to be given at the Eisenhower Library on the state of this field of study. She recently finished redesigning the Web pages in her areas on Milton's Web, the Eisenhower homepage. Currently, Sue is working on an online Web exhibit based on the exhibit of Goethe materials at the Peabody Library. One particular area in which she has done some special acquisition work is the field of Exilliteratur. As for me, I keep getting her confused with either John Waterman, who wrote a classic history of the German language, or Price-Waterhouse, which is an accounting firm.



WESSWeb > WESS Newsletter > Fall 1997 > Personal & Institutional News


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