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Updated 10:00 AM April 17, 2006




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Edward Weber

Edward C. Weber, senior associate librarian emeritus and head of the Labadie Collection for 40 years, died April 11. He was 83.
(Photo courtesy Special Collections Library)

Weber came to the University to attend library school in 1952, working half-time in the library while taking classes. He stayed for the remainder of his career, first as a reference librarian in the Social Science Library, then as head of the Labadie Collection in the Special Collections Library from 1960 until his retirement in 2000.

Established in 1911 the Labadie Collection includes materials on civil liberties, anarchism, socialism, sexual freedom, labor history and underground presses. It is recognized throughout the world as one of the leading collections of social protest and radical literature. Weber served as the collection's ambassador, interpreter, architect, organizer and advertiser, working successfully with donors, dealers and researchers.

Weber had an avid interest in radical social issues. During his tenure the size of the Labadie Collection increased six-fold, and he inaugurated important holdings in civil rights, campus unrest and anti-war movements. He collected much of this material at the time it was first produced by gathering fliers on the Diag and putting the Labadie Collection on mailing lists of groups working for social change.

After earning his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester magna cum laude, he added a master's degree in American literature from Columbia University.

Weber was pleased his vision of classes devoted to social movements of the 1960s has become a staple of the curriculum, with many undergraduate students utilizing the primary material he collected. He also added material in 19th-century French and German socialism and gay liberation from the 1950s to the present.

In addition to his work with the Labadie Collection, for many years Weber was responsible for building collections in Latin American studies, theatre and minority literature at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. He was a mainstay of the Cinema Guild for 37 years, serving a long term as manager, and was an active supporter of the University Musical Society.

People wishing to remember Weber may contribute to the Edward Weber Fund at the University Library, which will be used to support the Labadie Collection.

Weber's body has been donated to the Medical School for research. Plans for a memorial service were not available at Record press time.

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