UAH M. Louis Salmon Library welcomes archivist Drew Adan

Drew Adan

Drew Adan, new archivist at the UAH M. Louis Salmon Library.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Drew Adan, new archivist at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) M. Louis Salmon Library is "quite happy" to escape the harsh New England winters for the Deep South. He began his employment with UAH last spring.

"Drew is a valuable addition to our faculty and will play a key role in enhancing both digital and physical access in Special Collections and Archives. His past work experience at Yale University and his library education at Simmons give him a well rounded background. We are very glad to have him as part of the library team," said, Reagan L. Grimsley, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist.

At the Louis Salmon Library, Adan is working on digitization projects that will facilitate access to the library's collections from the scholarly community and beyond. His duties also include managing and maintaining the library's finding aid database, appraising and preserving archival records, as well as reference and outreach.

Adan's research interests include special collections and technology. "I’m looking forward to sharing our rich collections with the world. UAH holds materials of nationwide significance, and by using national standards of data curation we can shine a light on some of our hidden treasures."

Before coming to UAH, Adan served for eight years as a Faculty Services Assistant at the Yale Law School (YLS) Lillian Goldman Law Library. His duties included daily operations of faculty research support, coordinating research and delivery of materials from archives and special collections outside of Yale, hiring independent researchers and document retrieval services, and fulfilling complex research inquiries, and providing reference services for law school faculty and students.

Voynich Manuscript

A page from the mysterious Voynich Manuscript.

Adan said some of the most notable graduates of YLS include President William "Bill" Clinton and wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. "It is rumored the Clinton's first met in the YLS library," Adan added. "There's also three sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor."

A native of Vero Beach, FL, Adan became interested in librarianship after moving to New Haven, CT, and visiting Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. "The visit inspired me to pursue a career in special collections."

For three years, Adan worked at Beinecke in the Yale Collection of American Literature processing the papers of many notable 20th century authors. "Beinecke has many historical holdings including the gold ink pen President Abraham Lincoln used to sign the Emancipation Proclamation (Executive Mansion, Washington D.C., Jan. 1, 1863), author Walt Whitman’s eyeglasses, and my personal favorite an undeciphered text known as the Voynich Manuscript."

According to the Beinecke website, the Voynich Manuscript was written at the end of the 15th or during the 16th century. The manuscript contains mysterious drawings of botanicals and pharmaceuticals, astronomical and astrological charts, in color and illegible handwriting on vellum. The manuscript is named after Polish revolutionary and rare book dealer Wilfrid M. Voynich, who obtained the book in 1912.

Adan is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta. He recently attended the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Portland, OR.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Spanish from Sewanee: The University of the South (Sewanee, TN), and a Master in Library Science from Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science (South Hadley, MA).

Adan will pursue a Master of Arts in History at UAH this fall.


Drew Adan

Reagan L. Grimsley


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