People & Community
Monticello staff pictorial directories, updated every few years, provide a visual timeline of the Jefferson Library staff. The Library staff started small but mighty in 2001, with founding director Jack Robertson and Research Librarian Bryan Craig, and grew and changed over the years.
Top (left to right): Foundation Librarian, Jack Robertson, and Research Librarian, Bryan Craig (2001); Endrina Tay, Betsy Altheimer, Bryan Craig, and Jack Robertson (2003).
Bottom (left to right): Jack Robertson, Endrina Tay, and Anna Berkes (2006); Endrina Tay, Eric Johnson, Anna Berkes, Jack Robertson, and Leah Stearns (2008).
Jack Robertson, the Fiske and Marie Kimball Librarian (2001-2020), emeritus, is pictured here at the library's 10th anniversary celebration with his wife, Diane Dale. Formerly the Director of the Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library at the University of Virginia, Jack was instrumental in advising the Foundation during the planning phase of the new Jefferson Library and oversaw the Library’s crucial first two decades and growth into the premier research library focused on Thomas Jefferson's life, times, and legacy.
Following Jack Robertson's retirement in October 2020, Endrina Tay (left) was promoted as the new Fiske and Marie Kimball Foundation Librarian in October 2021 and has continued Jack's work alongside Anna Berkes (right), Public Services and Collections Development Manager.
Jefferson Library Volunteers
Since its inception, the Jefferson Library has benefitted from the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers, who have helped to shape a vibrant and vital community. Pictured here are just a few of those who have spent thousands of hours lending their talent to the Library's mission.
Top left: Pat Soule (2009-2018); Middle: Larry Bergmann (2010- ); Bottom right: Gretel Braidwood (2010- ).
Here are thoughts and reflections on their experience from a few of our volunteers . . .
Jefferson Library Donors: Martin S. and Luella Davis
Martin S. Davis served on the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's Board of Trustees from 1994 until his death in 1999, at which point his wife Luella assumed his seat on the Board and served as trustee from 1999 to 2012.
As lead donors, Martin and Luella Davis's stewardship and support helped to bring the Library into being. In remarks Luella made to the Board of Trustees in April 2002, she said, "The Library is, and for generations to come, a resource and an inspiration for the serious study of Thomas Jefferson, and his ideas and ideals."
Jefferson Library Donors: Robert H. and Clarice Smith
Developer and philanthropist Robert H. Smith and his wife Clarice were generous supporters of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation and of the Jefferson Library project; the The Robert H. and Clarice Smith Reading Room was named in their honor.
The International Center for Jefferson Studies was established in 1994 in cooperation with the University of Virginia to foster Jefferson scholarship and disseminate its findings. It is based at Kenwood, a 78-acre estate located on land once owned by Jefferson approximately a quarter mile east of the entrance to Monticello. Then in 2004, thanks to a remarkable $15 million gift from the Smiths, The Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (of which the Jefferson Library is a part of) was created. The dedication of the newly endowed Center was attended by the Board of Trustees, and this major gift secures the future and growth of existing programs and initiatives.
Jefferson Library Donors: Rodman Rockefeller
The Jefferson Library's Special Collections Room was named in honor of Mary Clark Rockefeller, whose son Rodman Rockefeller served on the Thomas Jefferson Foundation's Board of Trustees from 1991 until his death in 2000.
Mary Todhunter Clark was born in Philadelphia in 1907. She married Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1930, and served as First Lady of New York when her husband was elected Governor in 1959. They divorced in 1962. Mrs. Rockefeller was active for the rest of her life in the field of nursing education. She passed away in 1999.
Jefferson Library Donors: The Berkeley Family
The Berkeley Room at the Jefferson Library was named in honor of University of Virginia archivist, scholar, and Thomas Jefferson Foundation trustee (1964-1982), Francis Berkeley, Jr., through the generosity of Alfred R. Berkeley III, Jane C. Berkeley, and Richard M. Berkeley. Berkeley is pictured here with his family beside his 2002 portrait by Tim O’Kane at the Jefferson Library’s dedication.
Jefferson Library Donors: Family and Friends of Frederick Doveton Nichols
Pictured here in front of a portrait of Frederick Doveton Nichols (1911-1995) painted in 2002 by his son, Frederick D. Nichols, Jr., are members of the Nichols family at the Jefferson Library’s dedication. The Nichols Room was named in memory of Nichols, Jefferson scholar, architecture professor at the University of Virginia, and Thomas Jefferson Foundation trustee (1971-1981) through the generosity of his friends in and fellow members of the Walpole Society.
Donors of Major Collections
The Jefferson Library is a gateway to information on Thomas Jefferson’s life, times, and legacy, as well as materials on colonial and early federal periods, revolutionary American and Atlantic history, and European arts and culture. Collection strengths lie in our unrivalled collections donated by those depicted here.
Sister Margherita Marchione
Sister Margherita Marchione, MPF was a Professor Emerita of Italian Language and Literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and an internationally known author of more than fifty books on Clemente Rebora, Giuseppe Prezzolini, Filippo Mazzei, Peter and Sally Sammartino, Pope Pius XII and many others.
Sister Margherita donated The Filippo Mazzei Archive, a collection that includes comprehensive manuscript facsimiles of this Florentine merchant, surgeon, horticulturalist, and long-time friend of Thomas Jefferson; also included are the expansive research files of Sister Margherita.
The Mazzei Archive is the definitive working archive of Filippo Mazzei's papers, comprising accumulated facsimiles of nearly 2,500 manuscripts, as well as scholarly writings by and about Mazzei.
Donors of Major Collections: Noble E. Cunningham, Jr.
Noble E. Cunningham, Jr. (1926-2007), was the Frederick A. Middlebush Professor of History at the University of Missouri at Columbia and author of In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of Thomas Jefferson (Louisiana State University Press, 1987), The Inaugural Addresses of President Thomas Jefferson, 1801 and 1805 (University of Missouri Press, 2001), and other scholarly works. He donated his personal papers and archives to the Jefferson Library in 2004.
Donors of Major Collections: Silvio A. Bedini
Silvio A. Bedini (1917-2007) was Historian Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution. After his death, his two children, Peter and Leandra, donated ten bankers boxes containing the working archive of Silvio Bedini pertaining to Thomas Jefferson: Statesman of Science (Macmillan, 1990). Materials include his letters and memoranda, meeting notes and agendas, publications and working drafts, reviews of publications, transcripts and facsimile copies of research materials, and photographs.
Donors of Major Collections: Ron Laycock and Family of H. Guthrie Allen, Jr.
Thanks to the generosity of several major donors, the Jefferson Library has one of the largest collections of Lewis and Clark literature in the world.
Top left: Mr. Ron Laycock, pictured here at a 2007 reception in his honor, has been a generous donor for many years. The Ron Laycock Collection of Lewis and Clark Literature comprises over 1,000 titles and includes everything from scholarly articles to bestselling works of fiction and nonfiction to pop-up books, programs, maps, and newspapers.
Bottom right: Fiske and Marie Kimball Librarian Jack Robertson (right), with the family of H. Guthrie Allen, Jr. (1932-2013) in 2018. Mr. Guthrie's family generously donated his collection of Lewis and Clark literature, carefully curated over many years.
For the Jefferson Library's 20th Anniversary, we reached out to our ever-growing community of research fellows and volunteers for their reflections. Their thoughts, feelings, and memories about their time at the Library are captured and represented in this word cloud.
We also share extracts from a few of our ICJS fellows' responses here . . .
"This kind of academic freedom, immersion in the field, and fingertip access to research materials and professional support is extremely rare . . . Without question, it has deepened a sense of common purpose and community in our shared enterprise of Jeffersonian scholarship. Every time I walk out the door of the Library after a talk I have a new idea or frame of reference and, even more importantly, the encouragement to pursue them." — James Sofka, ICJS fellow (1998 and 2000)
"Other than time to devote to research (and access library resources), the most important part was fellowship with scholars junior and senior with whom I could share ideas about my work, and learn from theirs. This also helped me feel/become part of a community of scholars working on Jefferson and his era." — Johann Neem, ICJS fellow (2008)
"I had the good fortune to live across from the library for five weeks and return often after that, and I used the foundation and library resources every day. A cart was wheeled in with materials that I had requested, and I feasted on the knowledge and wrote daily." — Michael Kranish, ICJS fellow (2008)
"You will immediately feel at home and be impressed by the range of resources." — George Goodwin, ICJS fellow (2014 and 2017)
"Dedicated time, plentiful resources, invaluable archives, knowledgeable staff, lifelong network" come to mind when I look back at my time at ICJS. — Danielle Willkens, ICJS fellow (2014 and 2018)
"You could not ask for an atmosphere more conducive to research, writing, and intellectual stimulation . . . I received access to materials that had hitherto escaped my notice." — Gregory Urwin, ICJS fellow (2016)
"I can't think of a more conducive environment for a month of research and writing than the ICJS. I was especially lucky during my fellowship to overlap with some of the leading scholars in my field, and be able to share my work and ideas with them. But at the same time, just being out in the countryside, away from distractions, but with the resources of the library at hand, was idyllic." — Tom Cutterham, ICJS fellow (2017)
"A study community, rich in learning, support and friendship." — Christopher Bates, ICJS fellow (2017)
"The Jefferson Library is an incredible resource for any scholar or writer interested in 18th-century American history, philosophy and ideas. The excellent librarians showed me rare materials from a recent donation, which I would not otherwise have known about. These moments are invaluable as they make the research thrilling, inject it with fresh energy and open up new avenues of inquiry." — Karin Altenberg, ICJS fellow (2018)
My time at ICJS was "enjoyable, productive, supportive, collegial, scholarly, and intellectual." — Patrick Spero, ICJS fellow (2019 and 2021)