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Take Note: Priscilla Anderson, Kate Donovan, Laurel Gildersleeve, Tom Hyry, Debora D. Mayer, Alan Puglia, Steven Riel, Lauren Telepak

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


Priscilla Anderson and Lauren Telepak presented "Ready for Reaction: Harvard’s Library Collections Emergency Team” at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works annual meeting. Priscilla was also appointed chair of the Collecting to Collections Care Online Community Committee for the AIC. 

Priscilla has been working for Harvard Library as senior preservation librarian in the Weissman Preservation Center since 2012. Prior to this, she held conservation positions at Baker Library, Harvard Business School, and at the Weissman Preservation Center. Her current work focuses on developing careful handling, emergency preparedness, and environmental monitoring programs in the libraries, as well as coordinating an outreach program for Harvard Library Preservation Services. Priscilla holds MA degrees in library and information science from the University of Maryland and in art conservation from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.

Lauren is a collections conservator in the Collections Care division of Preservation Services, where she helps manage a production-oriented conservation treatment program for Harvard Library’s extensive general and circulating research collections. In her role as collections conservator, she actively contributes to staff training in the care and handling of library materials and in collections emergency response protocols and techniques. Prior to coming to Harvard, Lauren worked in several conservation labs including Dartmouth College’s Baker-Berry Library, the University of Texas Libraries and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. She received her MS in library and information science with a certificate of advanced study in library conservation from The University of Texas at Austin.

Kate Donovan has joined Houghton Library as associate librarian for public services. In this position, she works in instruction, reference, and public services operations, and supports the future of research and teaching within the Houghton context.

Kate comes to Houghton from New York University, where she served as assistant curator and public services and instruction librarian at the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. She managed the instruction, reference, and public services programs and curated the Food Justice archives and the printed materials collections. Prior to working at NYU, Kate was the university archivist in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. She also worked previously as an archival assistant at the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library. Kate has additional professional experience in development and public programming and has taught college history and information studies courses. She holds a BA in history from Vassar College, an MA in history from the University of Iowa, and an MS in information from the University of Michigan.


Laurel Gildersleeve, associate film conservator for media preservation, recently presented at the annual Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium on the films of local filmmaker Donald Berman. Laurel showed two films from the Harvard Film Archive's collection, including a lively experimental short documenting Boston's famed Citgo sign (Go Go Citgo!, 1968), and discussed his career. 

Laurel holds a double AS in video production and screenwriting from Minneapolis Community and Technical College, a BA in cinema and media culture from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, and an MA in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin—Madison (iSchool).




Tom Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library and Director of Arts and Special Collections of the Harvard College Library, has been inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of SAA and the Council of State Archivists in Atlanta, July 31–August 6. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession. Tom provides leadership and direction for all of Houghton Library’s collections, services, and programs. He has recently assumed additional responsibilities as Director of Arts and Special Collections of Harvard College Library, providing oversight to a new administrative unit consisting of the Fine Arts Library, the Harvard Film Archive, Houghton Library, and the Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library.

Prior to joining the Houghton Library, Tom had been director of special collections at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Library. At UCLA, he led the integration of five formerly separate units into a single, library-wide special collections department of 40 staff members dedicated to acquiring, preserving and providing access to the University’s rare books, archives, manuscripts and historical materials. He also oversaw the UCLA Library’s long-range and annual planning, fundraising, collection development and coordination of special collections services and programs with other library and campus groups.

Prior to his work at UCLA, Tom spent 13 years at Yale University, where he was head of the manuscript unit at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and, in a separate position, was head of arrangement and description in the Manuscripts & Archives department. He holds a BA in history from Carleton College and an MA in information and library studies from the University of Michigan.


Debora Mayer Alan PugliaDebora D. Mayer and Alan Puglia presented “The Challenge of Scale: Treatment of 160 Illuminated Manuscripts for Exhibition” at the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works annual meeting. The presentation shared the workflow and treatment that the book and paper conservators at the Weissman Preservation Center—the special collections conservation and preservation unit for the Harvard libraries—implemented in the preparation of the largest-ever exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts mounted in North America. The presentation highlighted the consolidation treatment protocol the conservators developed as best-practice procedures for the consolidation of flaking and friable media.

Debora is the Helen H. Glaser Conservator at the Weissman Preservation Center. She is responsible for the conservation of rare and unique materials, largely unbound, held in special collections throughout Harvard libraries. Recent projects include managing the conservation workflows for the Arcadia 19th-century digitization project and for the exhibition Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections, which involved a team of ten book and paper conservators for the past two years.

Debora has over 30 years of professional experience in conservation. Previously she was the principal of an independent paper conservation studio, as well as a paper conservator at the Winterthur Museum and at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation and has served in the Book and Paper Group, the Photographic Materials Group, and the Education and Training Committee. Debora holds an MS in conservation from Winterthur /University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She is an expert in the analysis of materials used in paper making and teaches fiber microscopy at the Winterthur/University of Delaware graduate program in conservation and at other institutions.

Alan Puglia is the senior rare book conservator at the Weissman Preservation Center. He has worked in Harvard's libraries since 1999, when he became the rare book conservator for Houghton Library. In his current role, Alan supervises the rare book conservation staff throughout the Harvard Library. He is responsible for managing and coordinating the conservation of special collections, primarily bound materials, throughout the libraries. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Science with an Advance Certificate in library and archival conservation.  Before joining Harvard University, Alan worked at the National Archives and Records Administration.


Steven Riel, manager of the Serials Cataloging Unit in Information & Technical Services, has been selected by the Lambda Literary Foundation as a Lambda Literary Fellow for this summer’s Writers' Retreat for Emerging LGBT Voices, to be held in Los Angeles. The leader of the 2016 poetry workshop will be Joy Ladin, who was recently awarded an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship. 

Steven has worked for nearly 30 years in a number of technical services roles in the Harvard Library. He is the author of one full-length collection of poems, Fellow Odd Fellow, as well as three chapbooks. He received a BA from Georgetown University, an MLS from Simmons College, and an MFA in poetry from New England College.