Yale Closure Visit 2018

The Closure Committee of the Friends of Franklin gathered in New Haven in November 2018 to donate the remaining funds of the Friends to the Papers of Benjamin Franklin in honor of Claude-Anne Lopez. Claude-Anne worked at the Papers for many years and started the Friends of Franklin as her “gift to the Papers.”

Claude-Anne Lopez
Claude-Anne Lopez in the offices of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin in 2000.
Michael Marlsand photograph courtesy Yale University.

We gathered the evening before:

Closure Committee at Dinner
Our research included New Haven Style Pizza. From left, Roy Goodman, E. Cutter Hughes, Jackson Boswell, Martin Mangold, Lee Knepp.

The next morning, we were greeted in the lobby of the Sterling Memorial Lobby by Editor Ellen Cohn. She showed us the stunning architecture, the printing press, and the cathedral-esque reading room.

Hallway at Sterling Memorial Library, Yale.
A hallway.
Reading Room, Sterling Memorial Library
The Reading Room

One highlight was the piece of sculpture Claude-Anne mentions in her preface to The Private Franklin:

Every morning on my way to work at Yale’s Sterling Library, I walk by his bust standing guard near the entrance. I look at that very English face, eyes serene, skin flabby, thin and determined mouth, ironic smile. And I wonder what it was like to be his wife….

The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family, Claude-Anne Lopez and Eugenia W. Herbert; New York, 1975, W.W. Norton & Co: A Subjective Preface, p. xiii
Franklin Bust in Sterling Memorial Library Reading Room.
The bust of Franklin that was at the staff entrance to Sterling Library in the 1970s, now in the main Reading Room.
Ellen Cohn with Claude-Anne Lopez card file.
Claude-Anne’s card file is still on hand, including her tracking of “undated devils.”

Ellen hosted all of us, visitors and staff, to lunch at Mory’s. Time grew wings as we explored some of the treasures in the collection.

Our organization concluded “with a bright point” as the Friends of Franklin’s President Lee Knepp spoke and made the presentation.

Friends of Franklin Closure Ceremony, 2018
Jackson Boswell, Roy Goodman, Lee Knepp, Ellen Cohn, E. Cutter Hughes, Martin Mangold, Phliipp Ziesche, Robert Frankel, Jr., Kate Ohno, Ellen Pawelczak, John Huffman.
Jackson, Ellen and a bust of Franklin.
Jackson and Ellen discovered that a bust of Franklin looks oddly correct with spectacles added.

It was an honor to participate.

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