Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Benefit Dinner a Success!

It was a brisk night in January, and Mead Hall was resplendent with tables covered in lace and centerpieces blooming with amaryllis amidst winter greens. This was the setting on January 20, 1996 for the second Living Library Benefit Dinner, sponsored by the Friends of the Drew University Library, held to raise funds for book endowment. Honorary Co-chairs of the event were bestselling authors Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark.

One hundred and thirty guests gathered to meet fifteen prominent authors associated with New Jersey. All guests were invited to enjoy an evening of lively conversation and gourmet dining. The gala began with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served on the balcony. The honored authors were greeted by escorts who introduced them to guests and made certain that everyone had the opportunity to chat with a favorite writer or to meet new and intriguing ones. The authors welcomed the chance to renew old acquaintances and to engage in lively discourse with fellow literary personalities. A display of books by the guest authors showed the breadth of the intellectual endeavors that the group had produced.

Ashley Carter, Paolo and Julie Cucchi, Michael Rockland

Janeen Dougherty, Joy Phillips, Lillie Johnson Edwards

Drew President, Thomas H. Kean, delivered a warm welcome to those assembled. He admitted, lightheartedly, that writing a book was one of the hardest things that he had ever done, and the honored authors present deserved his utmost respect.

Jean Schoenthaler, Director of the Drew Library, introduced each author. Among those honored were: Michael Aron, Gary Aspenberg, Willliam Campbell, Harry Devlin, Wende Devlin, Lillie Johnson Edwards, Donald Gibson, Angus Gillespie, Neale Godfrey, Rebecca Goldstein, Mark McGarrity, Vanessa Ochs, David Oshinsky, Michael Rockland, and John Wilmerding.

Epsey Farrell and Vanessa Ochs

Michel and Frances Ricciardi, Edna Ranck, Ralph Ocker

Also present were distinguished guests such as Leanna Brown, former State Senator; Gordon MacInnes, current State Senator; Heath McClendon, President of the Drew Board of Trustees; and the Right Reverend John S. Spong.

After the cocktail hour the guests adjourned downstairs where the historic ambiance of Mead Hall provided the perfect atmosphere for intimate conversation. After dining on Chicken Ventura, Steak au Poivre or Eggplant Rollatini, the dinner guests lingered till nearly midnight and reluctantly departed from a grand and stimulating evening.

David Oshinsky and Angus Gillespie

Edna Ranck, Donald Gibson, Wende and Harry Devlin, Merrill Skaggs

The dinner, which raised over $17,000 for book endowment, was an enormous success due to the talents and assiduous efforts of the Friends Advisory Board and the Director and staff of the Drew Library. Not only did the event attract those already involved at Drew University, but members of the surrounding community as well. The dinner helped to widen the base of support for our Library at a time when financial considerations have required institutions to find additional means to maintain revenues. The Drew Library has always been available to the community at large. The Living Library Benefit Dinner provided the opportunity for many private individuals and corporations to show their appreciation and support for the excellent research facility. The Friends of the Library have decided that the Living Library Dinner will be a continuing part of the Library's fund raising efforts and will continue to be held every two years. The next dinner will be held in January 1998.

Lynn Harris Heft, President
Friends of the Drew University Library 

Treasures of the Library

This is the first in a continuing series of articles on the Library's treasures: collections as well as people. In this issue, our focus is on an individual, Alice Copeland, Assistant Librarian Emerita, and a special collection she is making accessible to the world of scholars. Alice Copeland arrived on Drew's campus in 1965 as a Humanities Cataloger. Although she possessed a strong personal interest in music, it was not until a sabbatical project in 1988 that she had an opportunity to examine and explore the Creamer Collection - a collection of hymnbooks as old as the university itself. 
President John McClintock purchased between 600 and 700 hymnals during 1868-1869 from David Creamer, a member of the Baltimore business community. Mr. Creamer was an active layperson in the Methodist Episcopal Church and was an editor of its 1849 hymnal. He had been purposefully collecting hymnals for many years before Drew bought his collection for $165. Since other hymnal collectors did not begin their pursuit until the end of the 19th century, the Creamer Collection is important as the earliest collection of hymnals in the United States, a fact noted by the Christian Advocate at the time. Through subsequent gifts to the library, the collection now contains over three thousand hymnbooks.
When Alice first approached the collection it had been in dead storage since the 1930s. Louise McCoy North published a booklet about the material in 1936, but a half-century had now passed. Combining her love of music and her skills as a bibliographer, Alice used her sabbatical to sort through and make order of the collection. This task was complicated by the various religious denominations represented and several languages. Although the bulk of the collection is from the nineteenth century, there are 350 volumes printed before 1800. Adding value to the collection are the many annotations and notes made by Mr. Creamer concerning previous editions, reviews, and authorship of hymns. The earliest hymnbook in the collection is The Whole Book of Psalmes, Collected into English Meetre by Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins. Printed in London by Richard Daye in 1603, it contains a note inside the front cover stating that "This version of the Psalmes was published in 1562" and a quote from a Psalm on the back leaf.

After her retirement as Head of the Catalog Department in 1992, Alice developed a computerized database of the items in the collection. To date, about one thousand hymnals are cataloged. Having started with the oldest works, the project has just reached material published during the Civil War. Beyond cataloging the items, Alice is trying to piece together those that were in the original Creamer purchase. Currently, the Methodist Library houses the Methodist hymnbooks from the collection. Future plans include promotion of the collection through articles and perhaps access to information about the collection through the Internet.

Scholars both at Drew and throughout the United States consult the collection. Alice meets regularly with graduate hymnology classes. Discussions with students about their class projects often help to complete information gaps about particular hymns. Recently, an outside scholar inquired about a hymnbook in the Creamer Collection found nowhere else, not even at the British Museum. This researcher's particular project was to track down the first use of a certain hymn, "Come Thou fount of every blessing," to determine original wording. 

Recently, Alice received a small reward for her selfless devotion to the Creamer Collection. While reading the journal, The Hymn, she rediscovered the work of her great-aunt Clara Tear Williams, a late nineteenth century hymn writer in Ohio.

Pamela Snelson
Assistant Director for Automation and Public Services 

Photo by Paula Cameron 

Reflections--Notes from the Director

One of the joys of my position this past year was the selection of and communication with the authors honored at the January Living Library Benefit Dinner, giving me the opportunity to talk to people whom I never would have on a regular basis. There was one author whom I personally wanted to meet very badly, and all our communication was by fax, letter or voice message. He was unable to accept the invitation to the benefit, but I had been able in the course of contact to express my appreciation for what he had added to my realm of interest.

Authors love to know their audiences, and especially their reactions. Most authors no longer write in absolute isolation, and many are writing to elicit a reaction. Not every author wins a Pulitzer or a National Book Award, but very many writers provide something for us. Not all authors are honored or acknowledged for what they have done, a reality that is perhaps the driving force in drawing the authors to Drew to be recognized at our fundraising event. We all like validation of our efforts.

I am a compulsive reader--most librarians are. If I were to write a note to every author who has made an impact on me, I'd probably be the poster person for the US Mail service. But having seen how authors respond to their readers, I now make it a point to dash off a note to certain authors, acknowledging their impact on me. When I read something from an Internet source, I respond to it almost immediately.

And now you have the opportunity to let the Library know how you feel about its new newsletter, Visions. We hope that Visions will enhance your knowledge about the collections and services provided by the Library. The publication will appear twice a year, allowing us to publicize new services and to inform users in greater depth about fully developed library services. Please let me know if there are additional subjects you would like included. I look forward to hearing from you (phone 201-408-3322 or email

Jean A. Schoenthaler

Online with Government Documents

The Drew University Library has been a selective depository for documents from the federal government since 1939. Presently we receive 34% of the available items. We emphasize materials from the Congress, the Census Bureau, the State Department and the independent agencies, although we have material from almost all branches and agencies. Presently these items are distributed in print, microfiche or CD-ROM. As the Internet becomes more popular, and as the federal government is looking to cut costs, it appears that more and more of the information will be distributed online. Instead of each of the 1500 depository libraries having a copy of a document waiting on the shelf to be used (the just-in-case scenario), a library or user will go to the online source for a document if they need to use it (the just-in-time scenario).

While online access will make current information more readily available since anyone or any library with access to the Internet will be able to download the document, there are also many problems. First of all, finding specific items on the Internet is still a very difficult process. Sites are not stable and some are not kept up-to-date. Second, some of the sources, such as STAT-USA, the electronic arm of the Department of Commerce, have been charged with cost recovery. We, as a depository, have one password to STAT-USA which is free, but enables only one patron at a time to access the many publications of the Department of Commerce, including the Census Bureau. Third, the costs of sophisticated hardware, software, paper and ink, and personnel may be very high. But, of greatest concern to librarians and scholars, the ability to access older material might be severely limited. Most of the agencies seem unconcerned about archiving this older material (sometimes as little as six months old!). 

The Superintendent of Documents has presented a plan to have all material, with the exception of 25 titles to remain in print format, available only in electronic form by the end of Fiscal Year 1998. Some good starting points for browsing for government information on the Internet have been put together. Take a look at Government Information on the Internet as managed by Oregon State University. The Documents Center at the University of Michigan is strong in sources on international relations, political theory, the US government and statistics. For business-oriented sites, take a look at GOVBOT, put together by the U.S. Business Advisor Search.

Jan Wanggaard
Reference Librarian for Government Documents 

Drew Hosts Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis

As the publisher of a scholarly journal, how do you respond when your country is invaded by another, and your publication must be approved by the invaders in order to be published? Do you stop publishing? Do you publish in strict conformity to their requirements? Or do you publish within their rules, but with subversion between the lines? 

Natalie Zemon Davis, Professor of History, Princeton University, and author of The Return of Martin Guerre, addressed this question during her April 2 lecture, "Censorship, Silence, Resistance: Scholarly Periodicals During The German Occupation Of France, 1940-1944." Dr. Davis's stimulating lecture was presented by The Center For The History Of The Book At Drew University as part of its annual lecture series. A wine and cheese reception following the well-attended lecture was hosted by the Friends Of The Drew University Library.

Immediately after the Germans occupied France, they made a list of forbidden books, and demanded that every periodical be reviewed and approved before it could be published. Once approved, the table of contents for each issue had to be submitted and approved before publication.

Not surprisingly, Dr. Davis found that the scholarly community responded in many ways, some voluntarily and some not. Jewish Studies publications, for example, didn't even try for permission to publish. They knew they'd be denied. As an act of resistance, others refused to request approval and stopped publishing during the occupation. Some periodicals agreed with the restrictions. Yet others decided that the only way to keep the voice of French culture and scholarship alive was to continue publishing and learn to keep their own voice within the restrictions.

"The historian can't settle scores," said Dr. Davis, "but she can examine the events with a scholar's eye."

Pam Morse
Circulation Supervisor 

Good Reading

Sophie's World
By Jostein Gaarder

No philosopher since Plato (with the possible exception of Hume) has written really good dialogue. But a master teacher of philosophy from Norway, Jostein Gaarder, has written a delightful novel which offers as a bonus an informed and delightful history of western philosophy. Sophie's World introduces a bright girl, several levels of reality, and a compelling mystery. This is a world-wide bestseller, and during the past week I have seen it being read on the Lakeland bus and the New York City subway. Recommended.

Charles Courtney
Professor of Philosophy of Religion 

No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

A well-written, readable account of the profound changes which occurred in the United States as a result of domestic wartime mobilization to become the "Arsenal of Democracy." Advances in Civil Rights, acceptance of women in the workplace, especially in factories, migration from farms to urban areas, from East to West, emergence of the military-industrial complex, are examined as part of the impact of World War II on the home front. Goodwin provides engaging portraits of Franklin and Eleanor, delineating their great strengths, his leadership ability and political skill, her determined insistence that the tenets of the New Deal not be sacrificed to the war effort. I enjoyed this book and it made me reflect on how much has changed in American life and how much some of the same struggles of 1940-1945, for racial justice, for adequate housing, for child care, are still unresolved issues today.

Linda Connors
Library Acquisitions and Collection Development 

About Visions


Jean A. Schoenthaler
Drew University Library, Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3322

CONTRIBUTORS: Kevin M. Kelly, Pam Morse, Pamela Snelson
PHOTOGRAPHS: Drew University Library

A complete online archive of past issues of Visions
can be viewed at:

VISIONS is a semi-annual publication.
© Drew University Library

  • No labels