Campus News

Mary Ellen Brooks, former Hargrett Library director, honored for humanities efforts

Mary Ellen Brooks, director emerita of the UGA Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, received a Governor’s Award in the Humanities May 11 in Atlanta.

Citing her “indefatigable energy,” “amazing degree of knowledge about the history of Georgia and its authors” and calling her “one of our state’s unacknowledged leaders in the humanities,” Brooks was nominated for the award by Betty Jean Craige, director of the UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, and Nicole Mitchell, director of the University of Georgia Press.

“Without great libraries, researchers cannot be great scholars,” Craige said. “And Mary Ellen made Georgia’s Hargrett Rare Books and Manuscript Library into a rich repository of rare books, photographs, documents, drawings, letters, papers and manuscripts for all scholars of Georgia’s history to use now and in the time to come.”

Brooks served the last 15 years of her career as director of the Hargrett Library, during which time she acquired 532 manuscript collections and built the library’s collection of fine printing and small press books and other works related to the book arts, making it the fifth largest in the country. Brooks supervised the digitization of historical maps of Georgia and the Southeast, among the first projects of its kind in the nation.