Brooklyn Historical Society Hires New Director of Library and Archives

January 30, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) announces that Jacob Nadal will join its staff as director of library and archives, effective April 2. Nadal comes to BHS from UCLA, where he has served as UCLA Library’s Preservation Officer since 2008.

Nadal has contributed to many aspects of contemporary library and archival work and is a leader in the preservation field. He is the incoming chair of the American Library Association’s Preservation and Reformatting Section and has led preservation programs at UCLA, the New York Public Library and Indiana University.

He has worked with a wide range of collecting institutions, including historical societies, museums, and tribal libraries through his involvement in regional and national projects like the California Preservation Program and the IMLS “Connecting to Collections” program.

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Deborah Schwartz, president of Brooklyn Historical Society, is “thrilled to make this significant appointment.” She adds, “Over the past six years, the staff at BHS has made tremendous progress in bringing the library and archival collections into the twenty-first century, making the collections increasingly accessible to scholars and the general public, alike.

“Jake’s knowledge and creativity are a perfect fit for this ambitious and nationally significant 150-year-old collection.”

In addition to his work in preservation, Nadal has guided projects that bring together many aspects of library and archival work, including multi-institutional collaborative archiving, large scale digitization, library design and renovation, and emergency response and recovery for collections.

He says an archival salvage and assessment project in Liberia in 2005 was a high point in his career. At the time, he recovered materials that had been damaged during the civil war and worked with Liberian archivists to restore their archives and records management services.

“The Brooklyn Historical Society’s Library and Archives has an important legacy and unmatched potential in this regard, thanks to its excellent staff, beautiful Othmer Library, and fascinating collections. It is a tremendous privilege to have this opportunity to collect, preserve, and promote collections that showcase the complex past and dynamic contemporary life of Brooklyn,” said Nadal.

Nadal received his master’s degree in library science from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2001 and has served as an adjunct faculty member of the Indiana University School of Library Science and the Pratt Institute.

Founded in 1863, the Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally recognized urban history center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn’s extraordinary 400-year history.  Located in Brooklyn Heights and housed in a landmark building that opened in 1881, the BHS is a cultural hub for civic dialogue, thoughtful engagement and community outreach.

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