Industry & Advocacy News
April 4, 2011
At the request of Mr. Brodeur, we post his response to the statement of the New York Public Library posted April 1.
The response of The New York Public Library to my article does not address the key issue I raised. Library officials claim that my papers, which I donated in 1992, were not fully processed until 2010 — eighteen years later. They conveniently choose to ignore the fact that Ms. Mimi Bowling, who was Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts at the Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division between 1988 and 2001, has written two e-mails and one letter contradicting their claim and describing when my collection of papers was processed.
In an e-mail dated May 31, 2010, Ms. Bowling stated, “Those of your papers that were accessioned in 1992 were judged by me and my superiors to be worth retaining and were, in my estimation, satisfactorily processed and shelved in the Bryant Park Stack Extension where you saw them [in 1997]”.
In an e-mail dated June 12, 2010, Ms. Bowling declared, “I valued your papers and considered them fully processed during my tenure.”
In a letter dated September 29, 2010, Ms. Bowling commented upon President of the Library Paul LeClerc’s letter of August 4, 2010, “implying that I knew but did not tell you that the collection that I showed you in 1997 was not processed. That, as you and I both know, is simply not true: the collection was, in fact, processed.”
The attempt of Library officials to deny the credibility and demean the standing of Curator Bowling, who held a position of prominence in the Manuscripts and Archives Division for thirteen years, is highly unprofessional.
The fact remains that any donor who signs the Library’s deed of gift risks having major deletions made from his or her collection of papers many years after their donation and initial processing.