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Take Note: Brenda Bernier, Kate Bowers, Leah Edelman, Emilie Hardman, Katherine Leach, Dawn Miller, Matthew Sullivan

Take Note shares professional news about Harvard Library staff members. Have something to share? Please send it to the Harvard Library communications team at


Brenda Bernier was recently appointed head of Collections Care in Preservation Services. In addition to consultation and training, Collections Care provides quality treatments, protective enclosures, and commercial library binding for actively circulating collections. Brenda will continue as the James Needham Chief Conservator and Head of Weissman Preservation Center. By heading the conservation efforts of both general/circulating and special collections, Preservation Services anticipates that Brenda’s leadership will provide a more seamless pairing of skills and services for the libraries’ conservation needs.

While at Harvard, Brenda has served as the Paul M. and Harriet L. Weissman Senior Photograph Conservator, and more recently as the interim head of Collections Care. Before coming to Harvard, she held conservation positions at the National Archives and Records Administration, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. She holds an MS in conservation of photographic materials from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and a BA in art history from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Kate Bowers, collections services archivist for metadata, systems, and standards in the Harvard University Archives, delivered the keynote address at the Simmons Metadata Inquiries Lab inaugural datathon competition “Solve for X” on April 15, 2016. During the competition, graduate students in library and computer science joined together as teams and competed on data science research problems. The data in the challenges came from a diverse set of sources, including National Parks trail management and 19th-century charitable organizations. At the Harvard University Archives, her recent activities ranged from designing databases and analyzing large data sets to cataloging specimens gathered in the 18th century by naturalist William Dandridge Peck, Harvard's Massachusetts Professor of Natural History. In addition to her work in the Harvard Library, she is adjunct faculty in the Simmons School of Library and Information Science. She received an MS in library and information science from Simmons and an AB from Mount Holyoke College.


Leah Edelman, project processing archivist at the Harvard University Archives, and four former colleagues at the American Jewish Historical Society in New York City, are recipients of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference's (MARAC) Finding Aid Award for the “Guide to the Records of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York, 1909–2004.” The award is given yearly to recognize outstanding achievement in the preparation of finding aids by institutions within the MARAC region, and winning finding aids "contain outstanding content, take full advantage of the design capabilities inherent in their medium of publication, and incorporate successful innovations that enable researchers to more effectively access and use archival materials." The award will be conferred at the Spring MARAC Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in April, 2016. Leah holds an MSLIS from Simmons College, an MA from Boston College, and a BA from Brandeis University.


Emilie Hardman has presented a paper entitled “Selling Vegetarianism: The Publishing and Politics of American Vegetarian Cookbooks” at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society (ESS) as part of a Food Studies Mini Conference within the larger ESS program. The paper is part of a larger project on American vegetarian cookbooks and cookzines from 1800 to 2015 that she is working on with Laura J. Miller (Brandeis University). The paper explores the ways in which the profit potential of cookbooks create pressures on authors to adjust the content and form of their messages to appeal to more mainstream audiences and cause conflict in the social worlds and social movements in which authors may be situated.

She also presented at the New England Archivists spring meeting in Portland, Maine. In one presentation she focused on the Special Collections and Archives Class Request Tool (CRT), an open-source tool developed with the support of the Arcadia-funded Library Lab program and Houghton Library. The CRT is designed to streamline, consolidate, and automate administration and assessment of teaching programs in archives and special collections. Her second presentation reported on the continued work of the Joint SAA/RBMS Task Force on the Development of Standardized Statistical Measures for Public Services in Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries. The task force is working to develop a new standard defining appropriate statistical measures and performance metrics to govern the collection and analysis of statistical data for describing public services provided by archival repositories and special collections libraries.

Emilie is research, instruction, and digital initiatives librarian at Houghton Library. She joined the Houghton staff in 2010. Previously she has worked at the Murray Research Archive and as digital archivist for the Jewish Women’s Archive. Her own work has recently been focused on the manifestation of dissent in material culture. Currently, she is working on an annotated bibliography of American vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and zines. She holds an MA and an ABD from Brandeis University in sociology; her MLS with a concentration in archives management is from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science.


 Katherine Leach and Matthew Sullivan presented a paper entitled Hard Data for Tough Choices: eBooks and pBooks in Academic Libraries” at the Electronic Resources and Libraries conference in Austin, Texas.

Katherine serves as the librarian for Western languages collections in the Western Languages Division overseeing strategic plans and priorities for the acquisition of electronic resources, print monographs, and all serials and journals in the social sciences and humanities originating in Western Europe and English-speaking countries in order to support FAS and University goals of research, teaching, and learning. She has an MA in library and information science with a specialization in archives management from Simmons College, an MA in history from Simmons, and a BA in history from Portland State University.

Matthew joined Harvard Library 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. 


Dawn Miller received a Champion Award from UMass Medical School for her advocacy work to bring autism coverage to Harvard University’s self-funded health plan, benefiting families living with autism. Dawn was honored for her advocacy in persuading Harvard University to include coverage for autism services and treatments in its insurance plans after Massachusetts passed An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (ARICA), also known as the Massachusetts Autism Insurance Law. “She exemplifies a self-funded hero,” said Amy Weinstock of the Autism Insurance Resource Center. Dawn has been a technical services assistant in the Harvard Library since 2005, primarily working in Serials Cataloging where her main role is to maintain and create bibliographic data for serials and continuing resources. Prior to this, she held positions at the Peabody Essex Museum and at Boston University, both in Collections Management. She has a BA in art history from Simmons College and an MS in arts administration from Boston University.