Records of the Africana Francophonic Bibliographer and Reference Librarian, Mette Shayne
Scope and Contents
These records document the work of a librarian serving in two different departments. The records span the years 1977-1999, and consist of correspondence, publications, grant proposals and the records of Shayne's work on various sub-committees of the African Studies Association's Africana Librarians Council. Files include both incoming and outgoing correspondence; after the mid-1990s, much of the correspondence in the from of printed e-mail messages. Some materials and correspondence are in French or Danish.
Correspondence files are divided into two categories: those relating to Shayne's work as the Francophone Africana Bibliographer, and those relating to her work as Reference Librarian. In some cases her roles overlapped to the point where some documents could just as easily be found in one category as the other. In each category, materials are arranged chronologically. As Africana Francophonic Bibliographer, Shayne corresponded with publishers, faculty, colleagues, and researchers. Letters—many in French—mainly discuss acquisitions of monographs and serial publications. The correspondence in the Reference Librarian file relates mainly to Shayne's role as liaison to a number of academic departments at Northwestern University. Letters include invitations to individual faculty members to attend or persuade their graduate students to attend orientation events; answers to reference questions; and inter-Library discussions about Library policies and procedures.
Shayne's publications, presentations, and related correspondence date from 1986 to 1999, and consist of three book reviews, a talk presented to the North Suburban Library System on the Africana Library (1991), correspondence about publishing Shayne's 1986 paper on database searching for the African scholar (a copy of which is included in the folder), and brief, undated articles that may have been submissions to the Northwestern University Library's in-house newsletter. Publications also include three research guides compiled by Shayne as Reference Librarian; two are published guides to resources in Anthropology, and one is a specialized guide to resources in Norwegian-American history, prepared as a part of the Library's Research Consultation Program.
Between 1989 and 1994, Shayne collaborated with other NUL staff members in the Reference, Cataloging, Information Technology, and Serials Departments, and the Africana Library, to prepare grant proposals for two projects: the indexing of Africana journals and conference papers, submitted to the University Research Grants Committee (1989), and the indexing of a supplement to the existing Africana Conference Papers Index, submitted to the US Department of Education (1990-1994). The grant proposals materials relate to both proposals and include inter-department correspondence, correspondence with potential vendors and with colleagues in other institutions who had undertaken similar projects, and solicitation for letters of support from scholars, faculty members, and librarians at other institutions, as well as the letters of support themselves. The file also contains a copy of the 1994 grant proposal.
The records of Shayne's participation in the African Studies Association's Africana Librarians Council (called the Archives-Library Committee until 1992), which comprise the bulk of the records in this series, date from 1981 to 1999. Because of Shayne's long involvement and participation in many ALC sub-committees, these records provide an illuminating insight into the activities of the ALC over the course of seventeen years. Throughout, materials are organized chronologically.
After 1981, Shayne's attended the majority of the twice-yearly ALC committee meetings. The increasingly large volume of each successive year's records reflects both Shayne's increasing involvement in the organization and the increased use of e-mail among committee members. In earlier years, most of the materials relate directly to the individual ASA conferences and consist of meeting agendas, minutes, notes, and reports. The amount of material increased when Shayne became Secretary of the ALC in 1988, attending numerous sub-committee meetings during each conference. After 1996, when Shayne was involved in multiple committees and e-mail had become readily available, the records also include—in addition to minutes, agendas, reports, and notes—a large amount of correspondence among members before and after each conference about ongoing work on each committee's projects. Because several other NUL staff members in Africana and other departments were also involved in the ALC, some of the correspondence is inter-departmental; most is to or from committee members in other institutions. Given the long-term relationships among Shayne's colleagues on the ALC committees, some of the correspondence is on a more personal level as well as addressing committee-related issues.
One folder contains Shayne's personal correspondence with a friend, Tony Moore. Material relating to Shayne's evaluations and communications with Northwestern University Library administration from 1977 to 1994 is contained in a final folder.
- Shayne, Mette (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.
Language of Materials
Mette Shayne was born and raised in Denmark, where she earned a library degree in 1958. She came to the United States in 1958 to study library automation. After returning to Denmark, she met and married David Shyane, an American, and they retuned to the U.S. to live in 1960. Mette Shayne joined the staff of the Northwestern University Library in 1961, working part-time in the circulation department and then the reference department. In 1964 she began working part-time in the Africana Library, gradually increasing her hours until she became a full-time staff member in that department in 1979, with responsibility for acquisitions of books and journals from French-speaking Africa. These records document the work of a librarian serving in two different departments. The records span the years 1977-1999, and consist of correspondence, publications, grant proposals and the records of Shayne's work on various sub-committees of the African Studies Association's Africana Librarians Council. Files include both incoming and outgoing correspondence; after the mid-1990s, much of the correspondence in the from of printed e-mail messages. Some materials and correspondence are in French or Danish.
The collection is arranged into the following sections: correspondence; publications, presentations, and related correspondence; grant proposals; African Studies Association's Africana Librarians Council; and personal materials.
Method of Acquisition
The records were transferred to the University Archives by Mette Shayne on October 29, 1999, as Accession Number 99-199.
Six inches of duplicate and extraneous materials were separated and discarded.
Sara Crawford, March 2000; Janet Olson, February 2006.
- Guide to the Records of the Africana Francophonic Bibliographer and Reference Librarian, Mette Shayne
- Sara Crawford and Janet Olson
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US