University of Rochester

Endowed Fund Increases Spending on Documents of Local Importance

June 10, 2002

In honor of two generous donors, John and Barbara Keil, the dean of River Campus Libraries of the University of Rochester has designated a librarian to acquire significant documents and other materials related to the history and life of the University, and to the Rochester community.

The John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian will use income from an endowment created by Mr. and Mrs. Keil of Nyack, N.Y., to purchase and maintain these important materials. Nancy Martin, who is archivist in the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation at Rush Rhees Library, will hold the new position.

"Jack and Barbara Keil's support for and friendship to the River Campus Libraries has been remarkable," said Ronald F. Dow, the Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries.

Mr. Keil, a 1944 alumnus and a native of Rochester, spent 40 years as an advertising executive before he retired in 1987. One of his most successful campaigns developed when he created and then became the voice of the National Crime Prevention Council's spokesman, McGruff, the Crime Dog. He now paints full time and has exhibited his work at galleries in New York and New England. He is a Life Trustee of the University and has been co-chair of the libraries' Advisory Council for several years.

Mrs. Keil has a master's degree in social work and founded the Rockland Family Resource Center in Nyack.

A manuscript librarian and archivist in rare books since 2000, Nancy Martin has been active in acquiring meaningful documents for Rush Rhees Library's substantial holdings. Among those are the spiritualist newspapers of Isaac and Amy Post, members of a Rochester family that was immersed in the reform movements of the 19th century; the papers of James Spencer, a member of the University of Rochester's first graduating class; and notes kept by Charles Williams, an 1887 alumnus, on lectures given by the University's first president, Martin B. Anderson.

Martin is a frequent guest instructor on the use of rare books and manuscripts, and promotes the resources of the University's national research library to faculty and students for coursework and internships. She earned two degrees from the University: a bachelor of arts in English literature and a master of arts in American history. Martin also received a master of library science from Case Western Reserve University.

From 1986 to 2000, Martin worked as a reference librarian and as head of reader services in the Lavery Library of St. John Fisher College.