Robert & Andrea Moorhead
Searching through the thousands of little magazine titles in the Poetry Collection, one would find a small number that have lasted more than a decade or two. A notable exception is Osiris magazine, edited and designed by Andrea and Robert Moorhead of Deerfield, Massachusetts. Since 1972, the magazine has published 72 issues, an impressive act of editorial dedication on the part of the Moorheads, who have donated the papers of what is now a nearly 40-year-old archive of Osiris to the Poetry Collection.
The Moorheads have dedicated much of their lives to contemporary poetry. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Andrea Dubs Moorhead later moved to Connecticut before studying French and philosophy at Chatham College in Pittsburgh. Robert Moorhead was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Warren and Tarentum, Pennsylvania, earning a B.F.A. degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology and M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Throughout their lives, Andrea Moorhead explains, “Osiris [has] remained our link to the great world, to the community of writers and artists engaged in modern thought and aesthetic movements.” The magazine began, she recalls, “Tuesday, April 11, 1972, in a small white house along NY Route 43 in the town of Averill Park.” From its inception, Osiris has been decidedly international in its focus and committed to a lyric tradition, publishing poetry by hundreds of writers around the world in such languages as English, French, German, Romanian, Danish, Spanish, and others, as well as in English translation. This was always a conscious choice by the Moorheads, who, in an early issue, define Osiris as “an apolitical international journal, which seeks a human art, without intellectual or social categories.”
And yet, “for all its international involvement, Osiris is resolutely American. We like frontiers, new territories, and challenges. In a sense Osiris is an ambassador for our country, offering others the chance to share their work with an American audience without sacrificing their native language. This is an essential element of Osiris—the gathering of many voices in many tongues.”
Today, this “gathering of many voices” has itself been gathered and donated to the Poetry Collection, where it serves as an important research tool for students and scholars. After conversations with James Laughlin, founder and publisher of New Directions, whose personal poetry archive is in the Poetry Collection, and editor James Cooney, the papers of whose magazine Phoenix are also part of the collection, the Moorheads made their first gift to the Poetry Collection in 1995, with additional installments and further financial support arriving in subsequent years.
The Osiris Collection, documenting nearly forty years of the magazine’s history, helps promote the Poetry Collection’s mission of serving as the library of record for 20th- and 21st-century Anglophone poetry, and the Collection remains resolutely grateful to the Moorheads for the continuing generosity of their donations.
J. Warren Perry
The Music Library remembers with gratitude the life of Dr. J. Warren Perry, founding dean of the UB School of Health Related Professions, who died on August 5, 2010, after a brief illness. Dr. Perry’s significant professional accomplishments are matched by his impact on Western New York’s cultural organizations as a leader and donor. His generosity touched the Music Library and abides in two lasting gifts.
Dr. Perry’s life-long passion for opera, kindled when he helped to establish the Lyric Opera of Chicago while a graduate student at Northwestern University, is manifest in the striking collection of opera and ballet photographs and memorabilia he donated to the Music Library in 2000 and 2004. This rich visual record of the most significant opera singers, musicians and dancers of the twentieth century was a source of great pride to Dr. Perry, and many of the 2,200 photographs are inscribed to him. His apartment on Bryant Street was the site for glittering post-performance parties; Sherrill Milnes, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman were among the many visiting artists who attended these star-studded events. Dr. Perry frequently used the word “special” to describe his collections and delighted in showing guests each treasure while recalling the stories behind their acquisition.
While photographs of singers predominate, conductors and other musicians are well represented in the collection. Approximately 400 photographs feature views of performance venues, set and costume designs and productions. When the Music Library received the first large collection of photographs in 2000, it was used as a test case to demonstrate the potential for digital presentation.
Now searchable by name, venue, opera role, ballet company and several other criteria, the J. Warren Perry Collection of Photographs and the J. Warren Perry Collection of Ballet Photographs are described in online finding aids with links to digital images via the University Libraries’ Digital Collections. They are viewed by scholars, students and opera lovers all around the world. Dr. Perry’s gift has been a catalyst for other donors to contribute additional photographs, notably a collection of 383 images documenting the life and career of soprano Eleanor Steber.
Dr. Perry’s second gift to the Music Library was to name it as an organization eligible to apply for grants from the J. Warren Perry and Charles Donald Perry Memorial Fund administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. In 2007, an $11,000 grant from the fund supported the digital reformatting of the Music Library’s audio tapes of concerts presented as part of the Evenings for New Music and June in Buffalo concert series that took place between 1964 and 1980. The recordings include dozens of world and U.S. premieres, and the composers and performers represent a virtual “who’s who” of contemporary music from the second half of the twentieth century. Many of the performances were done in the presence of the composers and include pre-performance commentary, making them especially valuable for research and educational purposes. The successful completion of this reformatting project provided a model for subsequent audio digitizing projects in the University Libraries.
Dr. Perry’s extraordinary generosity to the Music Library will long be remembered, as will this special man who lived a life dedicated to supporting the arts.
Professor Robert MacDonald, UB Alumnus, leaves significant gift to support collections related to the Iberian Peninsula
Dr. Robert A. MacDonald, who passed away in 2006, donated a portion of his estate to the University at Buffalo Libraries to support the acquisition of research materials related to Spain and Portugal. He graduated magna cum laude from the University at Buffalo in 1948 with a degree in Romance Languages. His subsequent Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Spanish were earned at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. MacDonald joined the faculty of the University of Richmond in 1955, was a former chairman of the Modern Foreign Languages Department, and taught there until his retirement in 1995. The Professor Robert MacDonald Endowment has been established to support, in perpetuity, the acquisition of books as well as materials in other formats, such as digital resources, relating to Spain and Portugal. H. Austin Booth, Director of Collections for the UB Libraries, expresses appreciation for “Professor MacDonald’s significant contribution to the lasting legacy of the University Libraries research collections. His gift will allow us to enhance our Iberian-related materials.”
Dr. MacDonald’s sister, Joyce Spear, tells us that her brother’s generosity to the University at Buffalo and its Libraries developed from his gratitude for the “University scholarship which allowed him to pursue an academic career. …He valued the knowledge, advice, and support of faculty and libraries. Many friendships with classmates were maintained throughout his life.”
Medieval Spanish law was the focus of Dr. MacDonald’s intense scholarship and research. His books relate to the codification of laws initiated by the 11th century Spanish king, Alfonso el Sabio. Two of his books are:
- Especulo: texto juridico atribuido al rey de Castilla don Alfonso X, el Sabio. Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1990.
- Libro de las tahurerias: a special code of law, concerning gambling, drawn up by Maestro Roldan at the command of Alfonso X of Castile. Hispanic Seminary of Medieval Studies, 1995.
He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, and Cultural Laureate of Virginia in Linguistics. Through his leadership in the Foreign Language Association of Virginia, he was influential in establishing a more unified approach to the study of foreign languages in the state, and was the first recipient of the Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Born in Salamanca, NY, Professor MacDonald served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps and in Army Military Intelligence stationed in Stuttgart, Germany. He became and avid traveler, with many research trips to the Iberian Peninsula and also to Sweden and Scotland to chart his family genealogy. His modest lifestyle in Richmond, Virginia included his love of opera, constant gatherings with friends, family, and guests, and he was a devoted Virginia sports fan. His pet cats, Juana Alvarez Gato and Tiger Thomas, were constant companions.
Moti Lal Rustgi Papers and Endowment
The professional papers of Moti Lal Rustgi, full Professor of Physics, were donated to the University Archives in 2003. Recently, Professor Rustgi's sons, Dr. Anil K. Rustgi, M.D., and Dr. Vinod K. Rustgi, M.D., generously established an endowment to support the processing, organization, and preservation of their father's papers and those of other physicists at the University at Buffalo. Professor Rustgi's area of research interest included nuclear and atomic physics, and medical physics. His expertise in photodisintegration theory focused on the nucleus of the element deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen that has twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen atoms. One of his grants, awarded by NASA, investigated ways radiation in space affects synthetic materials that could be used in space structures.
The UB Poetry Collection recently received a significant collection of mail art from "BARON," a mail artist who resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Like many mail artists, BARON prefers to be known simply by his moniker, and he donated his vast collection to the Poetry Collection because of its growing reputation for collecting, preserving, and curating mail art and other ephemera representative of popular and underground culture. Mail art, also termed "Network Art" or "Correspondence Art," circumvents established art conventions and embraces the U.S. Postal Service as its communication medium. Mail artists utilize such techniques and conventions as rubber stamps, collage, visual and concrete poetry, "artistamps," handmade papers and copy art. Visit the Mail Art collection in UB's Digital Collections.
Kerry Grant donates his collection of Pan-American Exposition print memorabilia
Dr. Kerry S. Grant, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Affairs, recently donated his unique collection of Pan-American memorabilia to the University Archives. Following the publication of his book, The Rainbow City: Celebrating Light, Color, and Architecture at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 , and the city-wide centennial celebrations throughout 2001, Dr. Grant wanted to keep the collection at the University where it can become an "expression of the University's association and engagement with the City of Buffalo." The collection documents the importance of "color" at the Exposition and includes many guidebooks, view books, books of photographs, maps and postcards, as well as magazines and newspapers. The Libraries look forward to using digital technologies to make selected unique or fragile items in the collection widely available.