A Tribute

April 29, 2016
G. Salim Mohammed
Colleagues who worked on the Rumsey Map Center Project

Today marks the end of our first week of the opening of the David Rumsey Map Center as a library and special collections center within Green. Between the opening and this week, we have had over 600 visitors and now that the excitement of the opening is behind us, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for being instrumental in making this happen.

Among many other things, to Deardra who project managed the technical installation of the screens, helped on the exhibit and ingest of the digital items and to TJ who just started with us (March 28), but immediately contributed and worked on the registration/circulation piece, I thank you. For Becky who designed the exhibit, her diligence and hard work, I thank you. To Julie who guided me, but let me do my thing – I thank you. Among many other things, thank you for shepherding the collections from David’s and Branner. Under Julie’s guidance, to Emily who cataloged the collection and her interns, Bridget and Stefanie, thank you.

To the Branner folks – Juanita, Carlin, Tamar, Ian, Atsina and Shizuka who supported the preparation and moves, I thank you. Juanita also helped with the selection of the Center Services Supervisor position. To David Medeiros who supported one of my classes while I was in the throes of preparation, and to Stace for his presentation during opening week, I thank you. To Kim and Darren for getting our Africa georeferenced maps into EarthWorks (to say nothing of babysitting my son so my wife could attend the opening ceremony!), thank you. And thanks of course to Bob, for garnering the resources we needed to make this happen and standing in as needed during the screens installation.

To the folks at DLSS, especially Cathy and Ben, many many thanks. And to Michael Olson who worked with me early on to get David’s digital items and to Jack Reed for supporting Chet’s talk. To the folks at the Metadata department, but especially Robert, I thank you. To Edgar, Jerry, Jacob, Chito, Raina, and Larry, thanks for the small miracle you seemed to do each day you worked on the Center. In the days leading to and after the installation of the screens we couldn’t have done without Rob, Deni and Mike. For help with spotlight, my thanks to Gary and Meagan. And to Sherry for her Photoshop magic and Wayne for his camera eye. Thanks to Roberto who allowed Deardra and I to work and learn at their SPEC desk, and for his and John’s expertize in special collection items. The folks at Preservation – I am no less thankful for their support of the Center, especially Kristen and Richenda, but also Sarah, David and Elizabeth. Thanks also to Roy for being on the committee to select our Center Services Supervisor. And especially as we moved towards opening, help with registration and circulation systems, Rebecca, Sarah, Josh and Will. And to Ray (and OEG) who helped us with the website, thank you. And many thanks to Gabrielle and Sonia who shepherded us on Opening Day, the various guest lists and helped in working with the press. And thanks to Christina for helping account expenses for the opening and opening week.   

And to David and Abby. David toiled with us, day in and day out to make this a success; Abby supported us more ways than one, especially to think through our ideas of which, like the maps, we had many. Mike’s vision and support is exemplary, and for that, I am thankful. I know I have not made mention of all that worked on this Center, this Taj Mahal of maps, but to them, as well, my many thanks.

As an immigrant without any extended family in this country, my country, my friends and colleagues become my family. And for this, my gratitude.