Molesworth Institute

Molesworth Institute

The Molesworth Institute is one of the major sources of library humor, as well as a repository for various kinds of "librariana". It was founded by Francis A. T. Johns and Norman D. Stevens, the Director.

Since the first article, "The Molesworth Institute", appeared in the ALA Bulletin (57:756-7, 1963). Over 50 articles describing the results of specialized research carried out by the staff of the Institute have appeared in all of the major American professional library journals, as well as in library journals in Brazil, Italy, Russia, and Sweden. Its most recent article, "The First Fully Electronic Library", appears in the January 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries and variant versions have, or will, be published in France, Italy, and Sweden. In addition to the research staff, there are now 84 Fellows of the Molesworth Institute who assist in the furtherance of the organization's work.

While its primary focus is on library humor (its Archives of Library Humor is the most extensive of its kind), the Institute has developed a sizeable collection of library postcards and commemorative and souvenir china all of which is now located in the Centre Canadienne d'Architecture. Other significant collections include a file of prominent individuals who worked in libraries, a file of more than 1,000 quotations relating to librarians and libraries, a collection of more than 1,000 postcards depicting books and reading, a large collection of children's books dealing with books, reading, librarians, and libraries, and a collection of several hundred objects in the shape of books. The children's books are now part of the Northeast Children's Literature Collection (NCLC) in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. The other collections, along with the Archives of the Institute, will eventually be housed in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center as well.

The headquarters of the Institute is located on 143 Hanks Hill Road, in Storrs, CT, which also happens to be the office of Norman D. Stevens, the director of the University Libraries at the University of Connecticut.

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