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May 2017

Dear Wesleyan Community,

As Chair of the Board of the Friends of the Wesleyan Library, I am very pleased to report that we have had an extremely successful and busy academic year. In October, photographer Nancy Ottmann Albert presented her exhibit “Documents in Black and White,” and in November, Christina Heatherton and Jordan Camp spoke about their new edited volume, Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter. An open house in the Special Collections & Archives Davison Rare Book Room showcased rare materials related to the history of policing and incarceration.

Our Annual Book Sale in October 2016 was a smash success with record sales. Mark your calendars: This year’s sale will take place on Saturday, November 4, 2017. If you would like to donate books or volunteer to help, please contact us.

 In the spring, events included:

 “Queer Past, Queer Future” – On March 3, 2017, alumni Jennifer Finney Boylan ’80 and Alexander Chee ’89 read recent work, discussed queer lives and storytelling, and shared their own experiences as LGBT writers at Wesleyan. Academic Affairs provided support for this event.

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. – On March 29, 2017, letterpress printer and book artist Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. gave a lecture titled “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothin.’” There was also a print sale and documentary screening in the Smith Reading Room. The Friends co-sponsored these events with the Samuel Silipo ’85 Distinguished Visitor’s Fund, the Department of Art and Art History, and the Center for African American Studies.

The Connecticut Four – On April 11, 2017, in honor of National Library Week, during an event titled “All Your Reading Habits Belong To Us: Digital Privacy and our Government,” two members of the Connecticut Four, Barbara Bailey and Peter Chase, were in dialogue with University Librarian Dan Cherubin to discuss the history of the case, what has changed and, in regards to our newly elected government, what we need to watch.

Undergraduate Research Prize – Also on April 11, 2017, we announced the inaugural Friends of the Wesleyan Library Undergraduate Research Prize winners. This award recognizes students who have used library resources creatively and productively to complete fascinating projects. Rachel Rosenman (’17, Music and French) took first place with an essay titled “‘Mais la musique demeurera toujours’: Repurposing the French Baroque” (dir. Prof. Jane Alden). Second place went to Sara Feldman (’17, Anthropology and Dance), whose project is titled “Hodu Lashem: Jewish Identities in India” (dir. Prof. Gina Athena Ulysse).

There were two more events during Reunion/Commencement weekend:

“Poems, Pictures, and Prints: Cuneiform Press” - On May 26, 2017, Kyle Schlesinger, Director of Cuneiform Press, discussed the state of the book in our current cultural climate, while sharing his passion for producing enduring works that merge historically-informed typographic practices with the latest industry trends. Works were on display in both the Develin Room and Olin Lobby.

"Academics, Dedication, and Performances: Alpha Delta Phi and Wesleyan" - On May 27, 2017, Stephanie Gold and Erhard Konerding discussed the past and present of one of Wesleyan’s literary societies, Alpha Delta Phi (formed in 1856). Stephanie previewed the exhibit of the same name, which highlights items of interest from the Society’s recently processed records, now located in Special Collections & Archives.

Besides these many events that the Friends sponsored or co-sponsored, we contributed funds to the library to purchase equipment for the Digital Lab to extend the lab’s ability to digitally capture and share the rare and unique materials in the Wesleyan Libraries and supported Special Collections & Archives by providing funds to increase precious work hours for our temporary rare book cataloger.

The Friends are grateful for the kind donations from those who appreciate the value of library resources and services. Your generosity makes possible activities such as digitization and preservation projects, endeavors to update technology, and events. Thank you to those who have already made a membership donation for 2016-2017. If you have not yet done so, we ask you to join this summer. Basic membership in the Friends starts at $25, and the current membership year ends on June 30. We greatly appreciate those who are able to donate at higher levels or add to their current gifts, and also welcome sponsors of special projects, the research prize, and planned gifts. For more information, please contact Jennifer Hadley at or 860-685-3897. Membership donations may also be made online at

Finally, we would like to hear from you! Should you have any ideas for a Friends event, please contact us at

Thank you for your support of this vital part of campus intellectual life.



Michael Meere, Chair of the Board
Friends of the Wesleyan Library

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