Three Harvard Library staff members have been named recipients of this year’s Bryant Fellowship Award. Kathryn Jacob, Michael P. Olson, and Irene Tarsis will be presented with the fellowship at an awards luncheon in May.
Jacob, the curator of manuscripts at Schlesinger Library, will use the award to complete “King of the Lobby: The Life and Times of Sam Ward,” a biography of one of the most colorful and powerful figures in American politics during the “gilded age.” Expanding from an article originally published in Smithsonian, it will include a discussion of Ward’s circle of friends, his family, and the lobby in Washington in the 1870s over which he reigned.
Olson, librarian for Germanic collections at Widener Library, will use the award to complete his book “Two Libraries, Two Peoples: Die Deutsche Bibliothek and Die Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin since German Reunification.” The book describes the development of two leading libraries in Germany – the Deutsche Bibliothek and the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – since German reunification in 1989-1990. Specifically, it will focus on the librarians themselves, examining what it meant and continues to mean to be “Eastern German” or “Western German” at these two libraries.
Tarsis, curator assistant of printing and graphic arts at Houghton Library, will use the award to research an article on the life and career of Israel Perlstein (1897-1975), a Polish-born book dealer who became one of the primary sources of Harvard’s collection of Slavic books and periodicals. “Israel Perlstein, New York Book Dealer of the Early 20th Century” will address when and how Harvard acquired its impressive and often unique Russian collection, while analyzing the history of Slavic book collecting in the United States.