Welcome to the second issue of Mirabile Dictu, launched last spring as a venue for bringing news of the libraries and their riches to our growing circle of friends. We hope that there will be something of interest to everyone who cherishes the teaching and research that the libraries at Bryn Mawr support so well. It has been gratifying both for Susan L. Klaus, our new Chair of the Friends of the Library, and for me to be a part of the events of this past academic year, which has seen so many harbingers of renewal in the libraries. Foremost is the new Rhys Carpenter Library, to which the students of the College have been drawn in large numbers in order to read, study, and learn in its airy and well-lit spaciousness. It joins the handsome Lois and Reginald Collier Science Library as the second new library opened on campus in the past five years.
The success of Carpenter and Collier as library spaces has drawn our attention back to the Mariam Coffin Canaday Library, the central library, which has been serving the Bryn Mawr community well since it was built in 1969. The delivery of library service has changed dramatically in the past thirty years, as Berry Chamness has described for us here, and accordingly we are hoping to burnish and refurbish Canaday to serve future generations of Bryn Mawr scholars in new ways.
We are considering many ideas, one of which both Susan and I hope will appeal particularly to the Friends of the Library: we would like to enhance both the exhibition space in the Rare Book Room and throughout Canaday, as well as the functionality of the Room itself for use as a forum for scholarly talks.
We are delighted to have Willman Spawn curating the coming year's exhibition on bookbinding in Great Britain and the United States; in this issue are profiles by both Willman and John Dooley giving us a hint of what we can look forward to this September and examine all year round in our collection of bindings. And Mary Leahy has provided us with a lovely account of the trip of a lifetime to Northern Ireland and its rich and varied special collections. And of the other treasures that the College has for research, teaching, and for display--well, read on!
The Constance A. Jones Director of Libraries
Photography: Peter Mauss/Esto
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