Cliff Mead, Head of Special Collections for OSU Libraries, will retire effective January 1, 2011 after 24 years of service at OSU Libraries. Mead's expertise in special collections administration has resulted in the development and growth of a world class collection that serves as an outstanding resource not only for the OSU community but for scholars from across the globe. OSU's Horning Professor of Humanities and Professor of History Emeritus, Mary Jo Nye stated, "Special Collections provides an ideal on-campus physical environment for study and research, but, even more significantly, Cliff and his staff have pioneered online website communication of historically valuable documents, photographs, films, and other resources to the public. He has been a real treasure at OSU whom countless visitors have found to be their engaging and omniscient guide in Special Collections."
The focus of OSU Special Collections is on the Ava and Linus Pauling Papers with a broader emphasis on the history of twentieth-century science and technology. Professor Mead has led the Special Collections Department's development of outstanding digital resources, especially those that provide in-depth coverage of the life and work of Linus Pauling, the only recipient of two unshared Nobel Prizes. "In addition to Professor Mead's leadership in developing a truly innovative and world renowned web presence for displaying the vast resources of the Special Collections department, he has provided exceptional opportunities for OSU students to have firsthand experience working with primary research materials," noted Karyle Butcher, former OSU University Librarian/Press Director.
Professor Mead is recognized internationally as the authority on the Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers. He has authored several publications, including Thomas Pynchon: A Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources (1989). His most recent book, co-edited with Chris Petersen, is The Pauling Catalogue: Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Papers at Oregon State University (2006). He also has co-edited Linus Pauling: Scientist and Peacemaker (2001) and The Pauling Symposium: A Discourse on the Art of Biography (1996). Professor Mead received his master of library science from Syracuse University School of Information Studies, Syracuse, New York and a B.A. in English from the Utica College of Syracuse University.
Paul Farber, OSU Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Editor, Journal of the History of Biology, summed up Professor Mead's accomplishments, "Cliff has that rare combination of intelligence, organization, personality, wit and humor that makes a university collection of papers and books into a Special Collection. He has been at the center of creating this major asset at OSU, one that has large portions available online, and one that brings scholars from around the world to campus. He cannot be replaced, but he has built an institution that will persist."
Larry Landis, University Archivist, will serve as interim director of the Special Collections beginning January 1, 2011 until a permanent head is named. Landis is an experienced library administrator, having served as the University Archivist since December 1996. Landis started his career at OSU in January 1991 after having worked for 7 years at the University of Texas at Austin at what is now the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. Landis earned an M.A. in history from Texas Christian University and completed post-graduate work in archives.