Walter Harding’s Life of Scholarship on Exhibit in Milne’s Lobby

hardingcomm002Milne Library invites you to view an exhibit dedicated to one of SUNY Geneseo’s most distinguished and influential professors, Dr. Walter Harding.  Harding, one of the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, was a member of the English Dept. faculty from 1956 to 1983 and in that time served as chairman of both the English department and the Division of Humanities.

The impact of Harding’s world-class scholarship and passion for Henry David Thoreau reached far beyond Geneseo, from campuses and auditoriums across the nation to Asia and Europe, where the U.S. State Dept. sent him to deliver a series of lectures on Thoreau and American literature. And, of course, the hundreds of articles and books he wrote or edited continue to enlighten and influence the world of Thoreau studies.

hardingcomm017The exhibit, located in Milne’s lobby, coincides with the annual Walter Harding Lecture to be delivered on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Doty Recital Hall. This year’s speaker is Elizabeth Witherell, editor-in-chief of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (aka the Thoreau Edition).  Walter Harding himself was the first editor-in-chief, from 1966 to 1972, of this monumental scholarly project. The exhibit will be on view through the end of the semester.

Dr. Walter Harding to be Subject of Exhibit

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Dr. Walter Harding (1917-1996)

Library Intern Demi Monachino and Milne Library’s Special Collections Librarian, Liz Argentieri, are currently hard at work creating an exhibit dedicated to one of the college’s most distinguished and influential professors, Dr. Walter Harding, who was on the Geneseo faculty from 1956 to 1983. Dr. Harding was one of the world’s leading Thoreau scholars, and we find ourselves up to our elbows in the many essays, articles, and tributes he wrote centering on Henry David Thoreau (an original Transcendentalist and the author of Walden). Among all of these scholarly documents on Thoreau, however, we are also finding some truly amazing information on Dr. Harding himself.

This man, who accomplished so much in a lifetime and amassed one of the world’s largest collection of Thoreauviana, was a large influence on not just the Geneseo community, but the world. It is somewhat hard to believe that a professor from our small college town in western New York was sent to Japan by the State Department to teach Thoreau there, and received letters from the likes of President Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Albert Einstein, just to name a few. For us, Dr. Harding is truly starting to come alive once again through these testimonials and remnants of his legacy, found in our own Milne Library and in the Thoreau Society’s Walter Harding Collection at Walden Woods, where we’ll be visiting later this spring.

Walter Harding wrote the definitive biography of Thoreau
Walter Harding wrote the definitive biography of Henry David Thoreau
Image courtesy of the Thoreau Society
Image courtesy of the Thoreau Society

The goal of the exhibit, which will be on display in Milne during the weeks surrounding the annual Walter Harding Lecture this fall, is to share with current Geneseo students and faculty the kind of awe and pride Dr. Harding’s life and work has inspired in us. We want to reintroduce to the community this remarkable man and scholar that many have never had the pleasure to meet (and some may have never heard of), and to open their eyes to a man who, despite having such a large global impact, always remained humble. In this presentation of Dr. Harding’s knowledge, wit, and accomplishment, we only hope that we do justice to his legacy.

~ Article written by Demi Monachino

Women’s Studies: 40 Years Strong!

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Members of the Womyn’s Action Coalition show their pride

Check out the Women’s Studies 40th Anniversary display in Milne library, through March 1st.

See photos and statements by alumni on how Women’s Studies is important to them; timelines, posters, and documents on the history of our program; faculty publications, and interactive displays about our activity and history here on Geneseo’s campus.

The Women’s Studies program is governed by a coordinator and an Advisory Committee of faculty across many disciplines and students representing the academic program and co-curricular programs like Womyn’s Action Coalition (WAC), Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX), and Pride.

WMSTFB1For up-to-date information on upcoming events related to women and gender studies, “like” their Facebook Page.

Do you have further questions? For answers, or to declare a minor or concentration in Women’s Studies, please see Melanie Blood, Coordinator, in Welles 217A.

Milne display memorializes architect Edgar Tafel

Edgar Tafel (2nd from right) with Wright and other Taliesin Fellows

Edgar Tafel, one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s apprentices and an original member of Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, died on January 18, 2011 at the age of 98.  Tafel is perhaps best known in the Geneseo community as the architect both of  the College’s 1964 Facilities Master Plan, the blueprint from which the campus’ 1960s-era construction boom flowed, and of several buildings constructed here from 1967-71 — most notably, Brodie Fine Arts Building.  At Geneseo’s 2001 Commencement ceremony, Tafel received an honary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York in recognition of his excellent work for SUNY.

To commemorate Tafel’s passing as well his contributions to the architectural landscape of SUNY Geneseo, Milne Library has assembled some relevant materials from the College Archives and elsewhere and placed them on display in a table case in the lobby.  The mini-exhibit will run until February 23.

Exhibit on College History continues through September

 

Geneseo's "Old Main" in the 1870s

Whether you’re new to the campus or just returning after a summer’s absence, get yourself into Milne Library and experience the exhibit “From Normal to Extraordinary: Geneseo’s Proud Tradition of Educating Educators” before it leaves at the end of September. The Milne Gallery is lined with framed photographs, maps and other visual gems from the College Archives and elsewhere, chronicling highlights of SUNY Geneseo’s evolution from normal school to state teachers college to premier public liberal arts college.

The exhibit extends to the Milne Lobby display cases, where various artifacts relating to the history of the College are on view, including early yearbooks, flyers, more photographs and a gown worn by a graduate at the 1903 Geneseo Normal School commencement.

As in previous years, the timing of the College history exhibit is intended to coincide with the summer class reunions, but this year Milne has extended its run so that students and faculty have an opportunity to view and place themselves in this unique historical context.

“From Normal to Extraordinary” Exhibit Seeks Contributions

Milne Library will be hosting the exhibit, “From Normal to Extraordinary,” a retrospective on Geneseo’s proud tradition of educating educators, during the College’s Summer Reunion, to be held July 9-11, 2010,. The exhibit will feature artifacts, ephemera and photographs that span College’s 139-year history, from its beginnings as the Wadsworth Normal and Training School through the SUNY years.

Alumni and other interested persons are invited to loan exhibit items such as mementos, keepsakes or photographs that will help to tell Geneseo’s story, particularly as it relates to teacher and librarian education. Contact Liz Argentieri, Special Collections Librarian, at [email protected] or 585-245-5194.