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Take Note: Melissa Banta, Elena Bulat, Michael Edwards, Laureen Esser, Emily Gustainis, Steven Riel, Matthew Sullivan, Lidia Uziel

Take Note shares professional news about Harvard Library staff members; it is published periodically on the Harvard Library portal. Have something to share? Please send it to the Harvard Library communications team at


Melissa Banta and Elena Bulat of the Weissman Preservation Center published an article in a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies (JCAS) entitled “Salted Paper Prints and the Harvard Class Albums.” The special issue was produced in collaboration with the New England Archivists Symposium on 19th-Century Photography.

Melissa is a projects curator at the Weissman Preservation Center, where she works on projects to preserve, enhance access to, exhibit, and publish special collections throughout Harvard's libraries. She received a BA in anthropology from SUNY Buffalo and an MS in journalism from Boston University. 

Elena is a photograph conservator for special collections at the Weissman Preservation Center. She came to Harvard from the George Eastman House where she was a paper and photograph conservator. From 2001 to 2003 Elena was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at George Eastman Museum, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, and the Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to that, she completed the certificate program in photograph preservation and archival practice at George Eastman Museum. Before coming to the United States, Elena worked as a paper and a photograph conservator at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.


Michael Edwards has recently joined Library Technology Services as a systems librarian with a focus on technical services systems. He formerly worked in the Harvard Library Information and Technical Services acquisition unit. Prior to this, Michael held a variety of positions at the University of Connecticut Libraries, Hampshire College Library, the Pentagon Library, and the Library of Congress. He has been an active member of the library community, including holding positions in several library organizations such as Ex Libris Users of North America, the Ex Libris Northeast User Group, and the New England Library Association. His technical services background includes acquisitions, cataloging, serials, and e-resource management. Michael holds a BS in liberal studies, with an emphasis on history of science, from Oregon State University, and an MLIS from San José State University.



Laureen Esser, Matthew Sullivan, and Lidia Uziel had an article published in the edited volume Academic E-Books: Publishers, Librarians, and Users. The chapter is a case study entitled “Of Euripides and E-Books: The Digital Future and Our Hybrid Present.”

Laureen is the e-resources coordinator for the humanities in the Harvard Library. She received a BA in English from Chatham College and an MLS from Simmons. Matthew joined Harvard Information & Technical Services in 2013 and is currently a member of the Serials Acquisitions and Management team. He holds a BA from Gardner-Webb University, a master of studies from Oxford University, a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, and an MSLIS from Simmons College, where he is currently a PhD student. Lidia is the head of the Western Languages Division at Widener, where she provides leadership, oversight, and coordination in developing, evaluating, and assessing the Western Languages Division’s collections at Widener and Lamont. She has a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Montreal in Canada, a PhD in comparative literature and master in French literature from Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University in France, a master in library and information science from the University of Montreal, and a BA in romance languages from the Jagiellonian University of Krakow, Poland.


Emily R. Novak Gustainis, head of collections services for the Center for the History of Medicine at Countway Library, authored two articles in the recent Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) publication Innovation, Collaboration and Models: Proceedings of the CLIR Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium (publication 169, November 2015). The articles, The Opportunities of Engagement: Working with Scholars to Improve Description and Access at the Center for the History of Medicine” and “The Practice of Privacy,” co-authored with Phoebe Evans Letocha, Collections Management Archivist, the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, focus on how archival description can be improved or modified to the benefit of scholars while remaining attentive to workflows that speed processing and strategies for archivists. They also focus on the use of protected records that inform social and medical histories through the lens of patient care. Emily received her MLS with a concentration in archives and records management and a BA in English literature and teacher education from the State University of New York at Albany.


Steven Riel, manager of serials cataloging in Information and Technical Services, has had two of his poems recently published in anthologies. “White Diamonds” was reprinted in Rabbit Ears: TV Poems, edited by Joel Allegretti (New York: NYQ Books, 2015), and “Places We Have Never Been” was reprinted in Art & understanding: literature from the first twenty years of A&U, edited by Chael Needle and Diane Goettel (Pittsburgh: Black Lawrence Press, 2014). Steven has an MLS from Simmons College, an MFA in poetry from New England College, and a BA in English from Georgetown University.





Emily Weirich has stepped down from her position as access services coordinator for the Fine Arts Library.