Announcing the “Gail Schlachter Financial Aid Directory Collection” at San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives

My mom Dr. Gail Schlachter published hundreds of books over several decades. Like a stereotypical librarian, she saved them all. Most were serial reference books, and most libraries routinely throw out older editions of such works when they buy a newer edition or the data gets stale. As a result, mom’s personal book archive, including all of the old editions, was a rare and virtually irreplaceable collection.

After mom died, my sister Sandy Hirsh and I discussed what to do with her extensive archives. We donated mom’s American Library Association papers to the University of Illinois. However, they couldn’t take the book collection.

Fortunately, the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives agreed to take the books. We’re thrilled to announce the “Gail Schlachter Financial Aid Directory Collection,” MSS-2017-07-27, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. Mom taught at SJSU a number of times in her career, and Sandy directs the SJSU School of Information, so SJSU already had a special place in our family.

Recently, Sandy and I toured the collection, and this post provides a visual tour of our visit (see the complete album). Our tour started on the fifth floor, alongside some neat collections like the Beethoven Center (we were serenaded by Beethoven music during our visit). The archive’s exterior:


The archive entrance:


This is the public area. The collections are located behind the brown door:


Behind the brown door are stacks of compact shelving (from left to right: Sandy Hirsh; Dr. Anh Ly, Director of Development, University Library; Craig Simpson, Director of Special Collections and Archives):


The Gail Schlachter collection is in stack 26A, bays 16-18:


Stack 26 is on the right:


The archives themselves are stored in about 3 dozen boxes:


Each box contains about 10-12 books, such as this:


Sandy and I celebrated our mom’s archive:


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The Gail Schlachter Financial Aid Directory Collection is open for research! You can find it in archive listings like the Online Archive of California. Sandy and I are thrilled that some researchers have already used the collection. We hope many more researchers will benefit from it.