The German Connection
In February, the Library hosted a visit by the Consul General of Germany to the New England States, Dr. Sonja Kreibich. Before her posting in Boston, Kreibich served as the Head of Division for Pan African Issues, Southern Africa, and the Great Lakes from 2018–2022, where she engaged
with Germany’s colonial history,
especially in Namibia. She has a keen interest in the work of W. E. B. Du Bois and applying his work to issues today.
Kreibich met with Nandita S. Mani,
PhD, Dean of University Libraries,
and Vice Provost for Global Affairs,
Kalpen Trivedi, among others, then
visited the W. E. B. Du Bois Center
to learn more about its work. The
visit concluded with an exploration
of the Du Bois Papers, housed in the
Robert S. Cox Special Collections
and University Archives Research
Center, many touching on Du Bois’s
time spent in Germany as a graduate student in the 1890s.
Kreibich returned to campus in late
April to celebrate the installation
of a 12-foot segment of the Berlin
Wall painted by famed French artist
Thierry Noir, as part of a week of
exhibitions and events related to the
impact of the structure that divided
Germany’s capital for three decades.
Japanese Garden Photography Brings Zen to the Libraries
William Corey was an American photographer who became one of the most respected photographers of traditional Japanese gardens—gardens designed to create a serene environment highlighting the beauty of nature. Japanese gardens are characterized by simplicity, naturalness, balance, symbolism (a stone lantern might
reflect enlightenment; a bridge might represent the journey between worlds), and capture the changing seasons.
Corey, who died in 2008, had refurbished and adapted a century-old large format
(8 x 20 inches) camera to take photos on a massive scale. He would study the
scene, position his camera with care, and capture the full impact of the gardens
using a very long exposure, practically bringing the viewer into each landscape.
Corey’s widow, Reimi Adachi, donated Corey’s lifework to the Robert S. Cox
Special Collections and University Archives Research Center, including his
negatives, prints, Japanese art books, and his camera equipment. Corey’s prints are
now on display in both the Du Bois Library and the Science and Engineering Library.
Honoring Daniel Ellsberg
In January, UMass dignitaries bestowed an honorary degree to Daniel Ellsberg. As one of the nation’s foremost political activists and whistleblowers, Ellsberg, who is 92, has been deeply engaged with the Libraries and the campus since 2019, when, impressed by the Libraries’
commitment to social justice, he chose to make the Robert S. Cox Special Collections and University Archives
Research Center (SCUA) home for his personal and professional papers.
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy honored Ellsberg’s devotion to public service by saying, “We honor you for a
lifetime of truth-telling that demonstrates how dissent can be the highest form of patriotism and citizenship.”
The Ellsberg collection at the Libraries, consisting of more than 500 boxes of material, documents the threats posed by nuclear weapons, the expansion of U.S. imperial ambition, the Vietnam War, Watergate, the proliferation of state secrecy, freedom of the press and First Amendment rights, the struggle for a more democratic and accountable
foreign policy, and the challenges of civic courage and nonviolent dissent.
We honor you for a lifetime of truth-telling that demonstrates how dissent can be the highest form of patriotism and citizenship.”Chancellor kumble r. subbaswamy
Moments of Grace
In Boston in May, author Cody Keenan recalled his work as President Obama’s chief speechwriter in a conversation with
Joseph Kennedy III, the U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland. Library donors heard about behind-the-scene moments in the
White House detailed in Keenan’s New York Times bestseller Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America.