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February 26, 1999

  1. Status of Meyer to SAL Move
  2. Wojciech Zalewski Announces His Retirement
  3. ASUL Lecture on Sunday, February 28
  4. Alexander Nehamas to Lecture on March 8
  5. SUL/AIR Job Opportunities


The next phase in the relocation of Meyer materials to SAL, incorporating books in L.C. class numbers P through PZ, will begin on March 3rd.

--submitted by Joan Krasner Leighton


Retirements at Stanford can bring both good news and bad news: good news because they reveal that there is life after Stanford, but bad news because we lose individuals, as in the case of Wojciech Zalewski, who have invested so heavily in the success of Stanford's academic programs as to themselves become distinguished members of our academic community.

Wojciech Zalewski, Stanford's Curator for Slavic and East European Collections since 1972, has announced that he will retire effective March 31, 1999.

Michael Keller comments, "Wojciech represents the best of a long tradition of scholar librarians -- teacher, author, student advisor and mentor, bibliographic pathfinder and sleuth, colleague at Stanford and between Stanford and other universities, builder of collections and access to them, and the very human connection between faculty and their students and the libraries in his special area of expertise." The Stanford University Libraries wish Wojciech all the best in his retirement years and recognize the difficulty in finding a suitable successor.

Wojciech has served in his curatorial capacity for 27 years. He was a successful multilingual diplomat and negotiator in command economy booktrades that resisted rationalization during the Bloc days. In the aftermath of the Bloc's demise, he has demonstrated great skill in solving the riddles of unstable quasi-market-driven publishing environments. Wojciech's career has embodied what we mean when we use the phrase "specialized generalist" to depict the area studies curator's unique set of multicultural responsibilities (i.e., to track the formal and informal sectors of literary and cultural output in difficult publishing environments across several languages, several cultures and trades, and several political and economic settings).

Wojciech was born and educated in Poland. After studies at the Catholic University in Lublin and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, he received a doctorate in theology from the Gregorianum University in Rome in 1968. Wojciech began his career with the Stanford Libraries as a library specialist and later became the acting curator. He subsequently earned his Master's Degree in Library Science at San Jose State University and was named Curator in 1972. Wojciech has also been a lecturer in Stanford's Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures since 1975.

Wojciech has compiled an impressive record of curatorial achievement during his more than a quarter-century at Stanford. He has published or edited a dozen books in his curatorial field, bibliography, and librarianship. His "Collectors and Collections of Slavica at Stanford University: A Contribution to the History of American Academic Libraries" (Stanford, 1985), for example, carefully documents an interesting chapter in the history of our own institution. Wojciech's work at Stanford has earned him great stature within the American community of Slavic curators and among Eastern European libraries, publishers, and academic institutions; he is perhaps without peers. Additionally, Wojciech is a published poet, having completed four books of Polish verse since 1990.

Wojciech has been a wonderful colleague and friend to more than one generation of Stanford librarians. We will miss Wojciech's particular way of understanding matters and negotiating life in both the research library and outside. He has always added a philosophical cast to prosaic matters, but has been practical when mind sets hardened, an art to which most of us aspire, but rarely achieve.

Though Wojciech is retiring from his curatorial role, I am very pleased to announce that he has agreed to maintain a presence, both intellectual and physical, within the Libraries by serving as the Bibliographer for Religious Studies. We can only be happy that Wojciech will be spending some time working with us.

--submitted by Assunta Pisani


The Associates of the Stanford University Libraries invites you to attend a free public lecture by Dr. Frank J. Novak entitled "They'll Tax Anything! The Printer's Art, Taxes, and the IRS as Illustrated by U.S. Revenue Stamps." The lecture, which will be illustrated with color slides, will be on Sunday, February 28, 1999 at 3:00 p.m. in Building 260 (Pigott Hall), Room 113; a reception will follow. Frank is known to many in the libraries for his devotion to assisting where there is need. He is heading the Volunteer Assistants for SUL program with the Associates and has been on hand during the earthquake and flood, and at most ASUL and library events. A retired surgeon and Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the Stanford Medical School, his many interests include book collecting and bookbinding. He is a member of the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco and The Book Club of California.

Dr. Novak's talk covers a fascinating mixture of art and history. In 1765, the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act, which infuriated American colonists and contributed to revolutionary fervor. A copy of the stamp in question is on the cover of the invitation to this event.

Copies of ASUL invitations, calendars, and issues of Ex Libris, the ASUL newsletter, can usually be found at the Special Collections counter and in the rack on the Meyer lobby wall. ASUL encourages staff members to become involved in ASUL through attendance at events or the book group (which now meets monthly at Fresh Taste restaurant for book chat over Chinese food), or by taking leadership positions to help put together some of the fascinating events. Membership for this year only has been lowered to $25 for individuals and couples in honor of ASUL's 25th anniversary. Even if you don't wish to become a member, most of our programs are free and open to the public. We welcome you!

--submitted by Sally Treadway


Alexander Nehamas, a professor of humanities, philosophy, and comparative literature at Princeton University, will deliver this quarter's third lecture in the Presidential Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts. Nehamas has published on Greek philosophy (especially Socrates and Plato) and on more recent thinkers such as Nietzsche and Foucault. He is the author of "Nietzsche, Life as Literature" and, more recently, of "The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault." In both his scholarly work and public fora, Nehamas has attempted to shift the focus of philosophic inquiry from the pursuit of objective truth to the construction of one's life around philosophical ideas and answers. Stressing individuality and uniqueness, he argues that aesthetic ideas such as beauty, grace, and style are fundamental to life.

Nehamas will be at Stanford on March 8th and 9th. He will deliver a lecture entitled "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters" at 7:00 p.m. on the 8th in Law School, Room 290. The lecture will be followed by a discussion on March 9th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in Building 260 (Pigott Hall), Room 252. The Nehamas events are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but it is highly recommended that you arrive early to get a seat.

More information about Nehamas can be found on the Presidential Lectures Web site at http://prelectur.stanford.edu/lecturers/nehamas/. The Nehamas site was compiled by John Rawlings, Humanities and Social Science Bibliographer, and John Mustain, Rare Book Librarian and Selector for Classics. It was edited by Peter Blank of the Art Library.

--submitted by Solomon Lefler


SUL/AIR has the following new open positions this week.

Computing Information Systems Analyst

Computing Information Systems Analyst

Library Specialist I

Library Specialist II

Library Specialist I

Library Specialist I

For a complete list of all current SUL/AIR jobs, visit the Human Resources Web site.

Please send future submissions to SUL/AIR News to:

SUL/AIR News is an electronic publication of Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources issued weekly. Copy deadline is 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. Submit items for publication to news@sulmail.stanford.edu.
Editor for SUL: Sarah Williamson, sarahcw@sulmail.stanford.edu
Editor for AIR and HR: Eleanor Brown, eabrown@leland.stanford.edu