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Welch, Theodore F.


Librarian and Japan expert Theodore Franklyn Welch was born in Los Angeles, California in 1933. Originally interested in music as a profession, Welch played in Air Force bands in New York and Tokyo from 1958 to 1962. He then received a B.A. in Music and Asian Studies from the University of Southern California in 1963, and was first flute in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra on two U.S. tours in 1963 and 1965.

Welch's career in librarianship began when he received a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley in 1965. He worked as an independent cataloger at the Library of Congress from 1965 to 1967, then moved to Tokyo, Japan to work as a regional librarian for the U.S. Information Service. In 1969 he came back to the U.S. and began working at Northwestern University as Assistant University Librarian for Public Services. Welch held that position until 1975, but in 1973 he took a two-year leave to return to Japan, this time to Nagoya, and work for the United Nations Centre for Regional Development as their Chief Information Officer. In 1975 he received a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Tokyo, and returned to Northwestern as Assistant University Librarian for Development. Beginning in 1976 Welch also became a lecturer in Japanese, and in 1981 he became director of Northwestern's Center for the Study of U.S.-Japan Relations. From 1981 to 1983 Welch divided his time between directing the Center and his position at the library; in 1983 he left Northwestern to become Director of University Libraries at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

In addition to his work activities, Welch consistently remained involved in the world of U.S. libraries, Japan, and Japanese libraries and librarians. He maintained contacts with many colleagues and friends from Japan, organized bi-national library conferences, and wrote articles on library issues in the U.S., among other activities.

Welch's first wife was Letha Riter; they had two daughters together, Lianne and Jeanelle. He was remarried to Marilyn Schneider, a Northwestern alumna (Graduate Music 1978.)

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Theodore F. Welch (1933- ) Papers

Identifier: 9/3/2
Abstract The papers of Theodore F. Welch Papers (Assistant University Librarian at Northwestern University) fill two boxes, and span the years 1967 to 1983. The bulk of the papers consist of correspondence documenting Welch's work at Northwestern and elsewhere in the United States, his strong connections with Japan and especially with Japanese libraries and librarians, his tenure working for the United Nations, and some of his personal relationships.
Dates: 1967-1983