Dean of Libraries David Seaman has announced the creation of The Joan and Bill Brodsky Image Preservation Initiative, funded by a generous gift from Syracuse University alumni Joan (Breier) and Bill Brodsky. This initiative will contribute substantively to preserving and providing access to the large and diverse holdings of rare materials in the Syracuse University Libraries.
The Joan and Bill Brodsky Image Preservation Initiative will enable the Libraries to create a specialized cold storage environment for its film and photographic materials. These fragile materials require cold storage and controlled humidity to slow deterioration and prevent catastrophic loss. The Joan and Bill Brodsky Image Preservation Initiative will help ensure the availability of landmark photography collections, such as the Margaret Bourke-White and Clara Sipprell archives, for future generations of scholars and students.
“Joan and Bill’s gift recognizes the world-class importance of our research collections in the Syracuse University Libraries,” said Chancellor Kent Syverud, “and the critical need to act now to safeguard these important cultural heritage items.” Dean Seaman added, “I’m delighted to have this investment in our preservation infrastructure, as we develop a robust curatorial plan for our special collections and archives that both preserves them and makes them more accessible.”
“Bill and I are pleased to be able to provide this gift to Syracuse University,” said Joan Brodsky. “This ‘state of the art’ facility will ensure the long term preservation the Libraries’ very fragile treasures.” Trained as a library media specialist in graduate school, Joan’s passion for the preservation and conservation of books and special collections is well documented. The Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation, now in its eleventh year at SU Libraries and the brainchild of Joan, has grown to be a valued and respected resource for preservation professionals and students alike.
The Brodsky’s have a long-standing relationship with Syracuse University. Joan and Bill Brodsky each hold two Syracuse University degrees. Their three sons are also SU graduates, as is Bill’s brother and both of Joan’s brothers. Bill is a Life Trustee of the University and served on the Law School Board of Advisors from 1995-2003. He is chairman of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, after beginning his career as an attorney in the securities industry. Joan is a member of the SU Libraries Advisory Board and a former member of the iSchool Advisory Board. She also serves on the boards of the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Foundation Board of the Lincoln Library in Springfield, IL, and the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) offers scholars and students a vibrant research and learning environment. SCRC collects, preserves, and provides access to materials that document the history of our global society, including original manuscripts, photographs, architectural renderings, industrial design prototypes, graphic artworks, audio and moving image recordings, and much more. Today, SCRC’s collections total approximately 150,000 printed items and over 30,000 linear feet of archival material in 2,400 separate collections, as well as the holdings of the renowned Belfer Audio Archive and the University Archives. Together, these collections offer unfiltered access to primary source material, the “authentic voice” of a writer or creator, from which scholars and students can develop their own views and create their own narratives.