Professor’s article on history of Hamilton Smith Hall Library nominated for ALA award

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
photo of Hamilton Smith Hall in 1919

Hamilton Smith Hall Library in 1919.

An article written by Susan Siggelakis, associate professor of political science, has been nominated for the Donald G. Davis Article Award by the American Library Association (ALA). The Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the ALA every second year to recognize the best article written in English in the field of United States and Canadian library history including the history of libraries, librarianship and book culture.

Siggelakis’ nominated article is entitled “A Plain, Dignified Building: Negotiating for an Academic Carnegie Library in Durham.” The piece was published in Historical New Hampshire (volume 70:1, spring 2017). The article addresses the negotiations among Andrew Carnegie; his Clerk, James Bertram; and William Gibbs, the president of the NH College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts (later to become the University of New Hampshire) to obtain funds to build Hamilton Smith Hall as a library. Gibbs also negotiated with the Town of Durham in order to help satisfy the financial commitments — what were essentially matching funds — that Carnegie expected from the recipients of his library philanthropy. Siggelakis says that the Town funding explains why, for most of UNH’s modern history, both the Hamilton Smith Hall Library and later the Dimond Library served as academic and town libraries, open to the people of Durham.

Nominations for the Donald G. Davis Article Award are made by members of the Library History Round Table, an organization within the ALA that encourages research and publication on library history and promotes awareness and discussion of historical issues in librarianship. The winner of the Donald G. Davis Award will be announced in June.

Siggelakis specializes in the United States Constitution, judicial politics and political thought. She directs the justice studies Budapest study abroad program and is an officer for Phi Beta Kappa at UNH. She earned her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University.