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Leadership of Library Continues under Dr. Charles Courtney

Leadership of the Library changed hands during the summer when Dr. Charles Courtney was appointed Acting Director, following the resignation of Dr. Deirdre C. Stam. Dr. Courtney is serving on an interim basis while the University undertakes a national search this year for a permanent director. While new to the role of head of the library, Dr. Courtney is a long-time member of the Drew Community, where he has been a member of the Theological School faculty since 1964, and is currently Professor of Philosophy of Religion. He brings to the Library skills developed while serving as Acting Dean of the Theological School during Spring 1987, as well as Dean of Student Life during the 1987-88 school year. He also served as the cross-country team coach from 1971 to 1974 and editor of the Drew Gateway from 1968 through 1977.

When asked why he agreed to take on this major responsibility, Dr. Courtney said he thought that was a good question, especially since he was enjoying teaching as never before. He said it was partly because he liked the challenge and partly because his knowledge of Drew and the trust he has built up over the years make it possible for him to make a contribution.

Dr. Courtney is glad for this opportunity to serve the University he loves in yet another way. He hopes that the person who replaces him "will have the training and experience to lead the Library in the twenty first century, have a deep commitment to the University's educational mission, and be alert to opportunities presented by the information age."

Following the hiring of a successor, Dr. Courtney will be eligible for a sabbatical. He intends to undertake a project in either the comparative philosophy of religion or the philosophy of human rights in relation to extreme poverty. But he will be able to begin the project with an awareness that he has increased his knowledge of technology as a scholar and learned valuable things about how an institution works. No doubt, he will also continue to be a strong library advocate.

Meanwhile Dr. Courtney continues to learn about the operation of the Library, its team structure, and its services to the community. He is grateful to the Library faculty and staff for the reception he has received as they move ahead together to provide library services to the Drew community.

Jean A. Schoenthaler
Associate Library Director

Photo: V. Debbink

Gift of Russian Archival Material Documents Cold War Dissidence

The University is fortunate to have received a kind donation from Mr. Peter Dornan of extensive Russian archival materials documenting efforts toward freedom of expression from behind the Iron Curtain. Mr. Dornan, who worked for Radio Liberty from 1956 to 1988, had the idea of creating an archive of materials that were being smuggled out of the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries during the Cold War. Among these are eyewitness accounts of the trials of dissidents and unpublished manuscripts. Much of the material, which became the Radio Liberty archive, was published through the underground Samizdat journal. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the original archive moved to Prague.

Mr. Dornan, who knew of Drew through an alumnus who is the son of friends, donated his personal copies of many of the documents to Drew. They include about forty folios of archival materials in Russian and several hundred books, many of which were published in limited editions by small European presses; many are in English.

Over the summer, Associate Professor Carol Ueland visited Mr. Dornan prior to a serious decline in his health. At that time, Mr. Dornan was able to provide a great deal of background on the history of the archives.  According to Professor Ueland, "Mr. Dornan was one of the unknown heroes of the Cold War." In a 1999 book, Sparks of Liberty, which the Library has just acquired, Gene Sosin, the former head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty includes several references to Dornan and credits him for his work. The Dornan materials are currently accessible in the Library as a special collection. Individuals seeking further information about the collection may wish to contact Professor Ueland at 408-3507 or To view the materials, please contact Dr. Linda Connors in the Library at 408-3474.

Electronic Resources and Access Expand....What's New On Line for You?

Are elementary and secondary school textbooks reinforcing gender roles?
What elements predicted a representative's vote on NAFTA?
How did Bernini use Christian symbolism in his architecture?
What books can I buy on effective teaching?

An increasing range of questions can be answered from electronic resources newly available through the Library. Over the past year, we have purchased access to numerous databases in which students, faculty, and staff can locate accurate and up-to-date information. A few of the most popular are:

  • Books in Print, now on line, with keyword searching and continuous updating of publication status
  • CollegeSource Online, a collection of nine thousand college catalogs and webpages
  • United Nations Official Documents, providing the complete text of UN publications since 1992
  • Grove Dictionary of Art Online, which not only permits keyword searching of an electronic version of the thirty-six volume paper edition, but also maintains links to a wide range of web-based resources and illustrations
  • EconLit, the American Economic Association's index to professional and scholarly literature since 1969, with abstracts for the last twenty years
  • GenderWatch, an index and full-text database of popular and scholarly publications on a wide range of gender-related topics
  • Columbia International Affairs Online, a full-text collection of journal, magazine, and government resources on international politics and issues

In addition to these new titles, many of the databases previously only available in the Library are now accessible from any networked computer on campus, making them more readily available to Drew students and faculty. PsycINFO, the web-based version of PsycLIT, Sociofile for research in sociology, America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts, indexing scholarly material in US and modern world history, and MLA International Bibliography have all moved from being available in a few restricted areas to being searchable from residence halls and offices. These same databases will eventually be accessible to licensed users from off campus as well.

Meanwhile, the Library continues to add resources to help your research. For an up-to-date listing of what's available, check "Online Reference Sources and Articles" on the Library's Research Resources page at

Jody Caldwell
Reference and Research Services Team Leader

The Director's Corner: A Short Lesson in Anatomy

In her inaugural Director's "Reflections" in 1997, Deirdre Stam used the image of birds and their habitat to talk about libraries. I'm following suit with another image. When I told the Theological School Faculty at its May meeting that I was taking on the job of Acting Director of the Library, I said that, rather than moving far away, I was moving to the heart of the University. That image expresses my feeling and also my conviction. I'd like to develop it a bit in this introductory statement for Visions.

My choice of image seems right for Drew because from the very beginning the Library has been central. John T. Cunningham, in University in the Forest (page 58 in the 1972 and 1990 editions), says that John McClintock, Drew's first president, "saw the library as a 'teacher's tool chest' and even before he assembled a faculty, he hired an agent to scout Europe looking for . . . books." When Drew opened in the fall of 1867, the staff consisted only of McClintock himself, one professor, and a librarian.

Calling the Library the heart of the University implies that it is part of a larger body. A heart detached from a body is a specimen, but not an organ. Yet it is not enough for a heart to be in the right place, for there is life only when the heart is beating. And what is the function of the heart? To circulate to the working limbs what they need to do their work. The schools, faculty and students, are these working limbs.
When we consider what is needed to do the work of education we see that the relation between heart and limbs is complex. The Library has trained scouts to hunt for and bring back some of what is needed. Much of this is familiar, but every year there are hybrids and new species. And some well-known items have recently been showing up in radically new skins! Professors join in the hunt by telling librarians what to look for and by working with them to make selections. By simple, and not so simple, means of organization, maintenance, and preservation the Library is able to provide to faculty and students not only the latest in knowledge, but also a record of how we arrived at the present and a basis for a critical assessment of the process.
Finally, the solitary reader in the library has the sense of being in the heart of the university. My former student, Stephen Langfur, writes of such an experience in Confession From a Jericho Jail (Grove Weidenfeld, 1992, pages 47-54). It was Christmas break at Drew, everyone had left the campus, "but I stayed on to continue the search for the meaning of life. . . . The library was warm, the windows steamed up. I happened upon an essay called 'M. Heidegger and F. Rosenzweig, or Temporality and Eternity,' by one Karl Löwith." He intersperses his own reflections with a few lines from Löwith, then says, "That was the beginning of a conversion, . . . the beginning of my way to Judaism." Stephen's life, thirteen years after his Bar Mitzvah, "had been shaping itself into a vast complaint. Suddenly this was lifted: there was a point in my having grown up as I had, and there was at last something for me to do. Direction and design." I suspect that there are many such Drew Library stories.

Every image has its limitations, and I may already have gone too far. But I am happy to say that I have seen from the inside that the Drew University Library is indeed a healthy organ. If during this interim year I can help it to perform its vital function for the larger body, I will be satisfied.

Charles Courtney
Acting Director of the Library

Photo: V. Debbink

Recent Gifts to the Library

Mr. James McClintock has contributed a generous donation in memory of Gladys C. McClintock for the purchase of library books supporting the psychology program.

Adding to the Library's holdings in French language and literature, Professor of French, Emerita, Ilona Coombs has donated much of her personal library to the University.

The University continues to benefit from the generosity of many individuals who support the Book Endowment Fund and contribute in other ways through the Friends of the Library.

Make Yourself at Home on the Library Web Site: Tools for Academic Work Link Students, Scholars to Research Material

There is nothing more fundamental to the Library's mission than supporting and advancing academic work. Our web site addresses this mission in a wide variety of ways, and with an eye to the varying interests of students, scholars, and the general public. We offer two types of online services: some available to any interested person, and some available only to members of the Drew community.

The freely available services are all accessible through links on our Research Resources page. Probably the most popular destination is our online catalog, available as a telnet link. [Note: visitors to this page should know that since this article was written, our online catalog has become available on the Web and from every page on our site.] More specialized links are also available. Our services as a Federal Depository Library are described on our Government Documents page. Those interested in Methodist scholarship will find an informational page on the United Methodist Archives Center. Scholars may also want information regarding particular collections; Special Collections describes most of these. And those monitoring a particular discipline or subject area may find it useful to scan New Titles & Fiction, which lists the newest additions to our collections and is updated every month [note: this service is not available at this time].

The web site's offerings for Drew University's own students, staff, and faculty members reflect the fact that our electronic services in general are undergoing rapid expansion. More and more specialized indices, full-text periodicals, and reference resources are migrating to CD-ROM or web format, and our librarians carefully monitor these developments so we can select the tools most helpful to our users. The role of the web site is to provide direct access to the web-based tools, to explain how one obtains the CD-based tools, and to help users identify which tools might support research in a given subject.

On a more prosaic level, most research eventually involves the use of forms such as Interlibrary Loan requests, Closed Reserve faculty requests, and Book Acquisition requests. These are provided from our site's Library Forms section on the Research Resources page and can be submitted electronically if you are using a Drew Network computer, or through the University's proxy server.

The research process itself might logically begin with the two periodical indices we have long provided on our terminals: the General Magazine Index and the Scholarly Journal Index. These databases are valuable for virtually any subject, and one's search results will indicate whether or not our library owns or links to the periodical being cited. On our site the GMI and SJI are available via telnet links from Research Resources. But unlike the main catalog, they can only be accessed from a Drew Network computer. [Note: Visitors to this page should know that the journal indexes have been replaced by the web-based FirstSearch service, which allows easier access to the same core databases. FirstSearch and its component databases are available from Research Resources' Online Sources for Journal Articles drop-down box.]

Another valuable starting point is the Electronic Resources page. Our electronic resources consist of web subscriptions, networked CD-ROMs, and the CD-ROMs available at our Reserves Counter. All of them are included in an alphabetical list available from this page, with information on their contents and how one would access them.

But most people would not want to browse a list of resources for which the only common denominator is electronic format. Perhaps they have become familiar with a particular full-text source such as and wish to access it directly. Accordingly, both our home page and Electronic Resources offer direct access to all our web subscriptions.

Another common approach is starting with the electronic tools best suited for a particular area of research. To address this strategy, the Electronic Resources page offers links to three pages which organize our web subscriptions and CD-ROMs by academic discipline. [Note: these pages are now available from Research Resources.]

Whether your area of interest is English, Political Science, or Religion, we have selected from our electronic tools those most likely to support your research. For each discipline, a table lists the appropriate resources in their general order of relevance. Included for each item is its name, what it covers, its specific format, how to access it, and if its use requires additional steps. If the resource is web-based, it's linked from this page. If we've put a user guide for the resource online, that too is available, both from these pages and from our home page. In addition, below each resource table is a list of discipline-specific web sites recommended by our reference staff.

These are just some of the ways in which our web site provides a gateway to the University's collections: general and special, physical or virtual. The site's support for academic work will continue to evolve and expand. Accordingly, visitors might find it useful to look at News & Upcoming Events, to stay in touch with new web subscriptions and other electronic services as they become available.

Anne L. Noss
Adjunct Reference Librarian/Library Web Manager

Community Day, 1990

Drew University Library and Madison Public Library joined in a display of the many formats in which a book may be read, heard, or accessed electronically. Children had a chance to view one of Marc Brown's popular Arthur books in CD-ROM format, while adults could read the Scarlet Letter from the internet or a rocking chair.
Looking on are Nancy Vernon of Madison Public Library and Deborah Strong, Charles Courtney, and Ray Semiraglio of Drew.

Literary History Lecture Series

The Drew Literary History Lecture Series of the Graduate Program in Book History continues this year with three lectures each semester. Scholars visiting the campus this fall include English Professor Elizabeth McHenry of New York University, who spoke on "Rewriting Literary Legacy: Why Black Readers Matter." On October 11, Robert Darnton, Professor of History at Princeton and President of the American Historical Association, addressed the topic of "Policing Literature in British India, 1857-1914." Elizabeth Dwyer of Rutgers will present a paper November 15, on the marketing of Latina authors, "Bombshells or Bestsellers? Commodification, Crossing BordersTM, and Latina Writers."

All lectures are open to the public and take place Monday evenings at 8:00 in the Learning Center, Room 28. A reception hosted by the Friends of the Library follows each lecture. For more information about the Friends, call Dr. Charles Courtney, Acting Director, at (973) 408-3322. To learn about the Master's Program in Book History, contact Professor Jonathan E. Rose (; tel. (973) 408-3545), or call the Graduate School at (973) 408-3110.

About Visions


Dr. Andrew D. Scrimgeour, Director
Drew University Library, Madison, NJ 07940
(973) 408-3322

PHOTOGRAPHY, Virginia Debbink, A. Magnell

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

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

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