On March 30, Sarah M. Pritchard, Dean of Libraries and Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian at Northwestern University, delivered her lecture, “Linking Libraries to Promote and Preserve a City’s History: Creating the Chicago Collections Consortium.”
Pritchard’s talk was presented in Room 214 of Wilson Hall on Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus. It was part of the Jack E. & Debbie T. Thomas Endowed Lecture Series honoring Shirley K. Baker, former Vice Chancellor
for Scholarly Resources & Dean of University Libraries, who retired in 2012.
Jack Thomas serves as the chairman of WU Libraries’ National Council advisory group and as a member of WU’s Board of Trustees. The Thomas lecture series brings notable speakers to campus to present on a library- or technology-related topic.
In her lecture, Pritchard discussed the 10-year process of establishing the Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC), an organization that links the major academic, museum, public and historical libraries in the greater Chicago area. Members include Northwestern University, the Chicago History Museum, the Chicago Public Library, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
The CCC’s member institutions have shared goals: to make both scholars and the public more aware of where important archival resources are located, to increase awareness of and education about the city’s history, and to ensure preservation of unique collections related to that history.
Pritchard outlined how the organization is structured, how it receives funding, and how it has engaged the community thus far with a major exhibition that featured materials from different groups and the online portal explore.chicagocollections.org.
Pritchard has been the Dean of Libraries and the Charles Deering McCormick University Librarian at Northwestern University since 2006. Pritchard also has oversight of the Northwestern University Press and manages shared services with the law, medical and NU-Qatar libraries. Previously she was University Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara; Director of Libraries at Smith College; associate executive director at the Association of Research Libraries; and a specialist in reference and collection development at the Library of Congress. She has published more than 70 articles and reviews, and was the editor of the scholarly journal portal: Libraries and the Academy, from Johns Hopkins University Press from 2008 to 2014. She has served as an advisor to many academic and commercial publishing projects.