Beeghly Library

professor and student in office

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Dr. Donald F. Durnbaugh In Memoriam

Sometimes in our lives we are lucky enough to meet someone who truly inspires us. Such a person for me was Don Durnbaugh, who passed away August 27, 2005.

Don and Hedda together had organized and cataloged much of the Special Collections at Juniata College, a daunting task which could be done by few. The ability to work with old, High German in Gothic script is part of the task. The fact that they both were in the Archives several days a week on a volunteer basis to work with the collection and help others to use it, was generous. They have become a part of the library family over the years.

I enjoyed so much interacting with Don in setting up displays, getting advice about the collection, talking about Anabaptism, Pietism, Abraham Cassel, and a myriad of other topics of which it was impossible to exhaust Don's knowledge. I hope some of it has rubbed off on me and the others.

More than anything, we enjoyed his friendship and pausing to chat with him on Tuesdays, the day when the Archives are officially open. Those occasions were always pleasant, and accompanied by a smile.

The hardest part about losing him from our midst is not that the Special Collections loses its resident expert. Don left us many footprints in the snow and he would want us to find our way. The hardest part is not seeing him on Tuesdays, and missing the chance to talk and catch up. It is hard to imagine the Archives without Don, he will be greatly missed by all of us in the library.

John Mumford, Library Director