The UCLA Library has appointed Tom Hyry director of special collections. His first day will be March 29, 2010.
The position is a new one at the UCLA Library. The library's five separate special collections — the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collections for the Sciences, the Center for Oral History Research, the Performing Arts Special Collections, the Charles E. Young Research Library Department of Special Collections and the University Archives— are being integrated into a single special collections department.
"I am delighted that Tom has accepted this new position," said University Librarian Gary E. Strong. "His managerial experience and professional expertise give him the ideal background to carry out this administrative integration, which will make the UCLA Library's rare and unique special collections more broadly accessible to students and scholars and most effectively utilize our highly trained and deeply knowledgeable staff."
Hyry comes to UCLA from Yale University, where since 2006 he has been head of the manuscript unit in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. In that position, he has streamlined processing and accessioning practices to greatly increase the volume of collections available to researchers; enhanced methods for acquiring, processing and preserving born-digital materials; developed an off-site processing facility; and hired and trained eight new staff members to process archival collections.
Prior to that, Hyry spent nine years in Yale University Library's manuscripts and archives department, where he began as an entry-level archivist and finished as the head of arrangement and description. His accomplishments include acquiring several prestigious collections; creating, with others, the department's digital image database; providing instruction for students on using primary sources; organizing exhibits; and developing grants.
Hyry earned a master's degree in information and library studies from the University of Michigan and a bachelor's degree in history from Carleton College.
At UCLA, Hyry will manage the process of integrating all of the UCLA Library's special collections. Among the responsibilities of the new position of director of special collections are: developing and managing collections; conducting strategic and space planning; overseeing research and instructional services for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and visiting researchers; planning and implementing public program activities, including exhibits, lectures, symposia and conferences that showcase the use of UCLA Library special collections; and donor relations and fundraising.
It also involves extensive consultation with constituencies including faculty and administrators in UCLA's organized research units, centers, museums and special collections, as well as with colleagues in the University of California system, throughout Southern California and at other major national and international special collections. The position reports to Kevin Mulroy, UCLA's associate university librarian for academic services.
The UCLA Library system, ranked among the top 10 research libraries in the U.S., is a campuswide network of libraries serving programs of study and research in many fields. Its collections encompass more than 8 million volumes, as well as archives, audiovisual materials, corporate reports, government publications, microforms, technical reports and other scholarly resources. More than 50,000 serial titles are received regularly. The UCLA Library also provides access to a growing collection of digital resources, including reference works, electronic journals and other full-text titles and images.
The Biomedical Library's History and Special Collections for the Sciences includes rare materials in engineering, the life and physical sciences, and medicine from the 15th to the early 20th centuries. The Center for Oral History Research conducts taped interviews with individuals selected for their ability to provide firsthand observations on a variety of historical topics, principally related to the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Performing Arts Special Collections contains historical records and personal papers, primarily in film, television, theater and music. The Research Library Department of Special Collections administers the UCLA Library's rare and unique materials in the humanities, social sciences and visual arts. The University Archives collects non-current UCLA records with permanent administrative, fiscal, historical or legal value.