Mary Flagg   2004 UNB Service Award Recipient

The University of New Brunswick can be justly proud of the rich history and stunning beauty of the resources held by the Archives and Special Collections Department. Students and scholars from around the world have been attracted to UNB to work on collections held by the department, and many of these students have come to know Mary Flagg as they set up long-term work spaces on the fifth floor of the Harriet Irving Library. As we all know, however, collections of national repute do not just happen. The acquisition, research, organization, and preservation of literary and historical works is a product of decades of hard work, diligence, and a deep commitment to the institution by those involved in its custody and administration.

If asked, Mary would say that the work of the department is a team effort and certainly that effort is seen at every exhibit opening and celebration organized by the Archives and Special Collections Department. However, it takes a steward of exceptional talent and ability to keep focused on the student and the long-term well being of the collection during periods of such changes as have been witnessed in the past three decades. It is a balancing act, meeting the needs of the demanding scholar while working with the preservation of the historical and the possibilities of access in our digital future. As Department Head and University Archivist, Mary has guided the Department through projects as sweeping in scope as the Winslow project, and as beautiful as the cards and posters created from the maps of the Bailey family.

There are those in the University who with quiet diligence, produce the unexpected simply because they have a passion for the job. They are more concerned with the student, with a challenging research problem than with the glory of recognition. Mary is one of these people and, much to her chagrin at being in the spotlight, we tip our hats today to her as one of the quiet and steadfast champions of this institution, a person who has served UNB out of a firm commitment to the institution, to our scholars, and to the province.

Presented by John Teskey
Director of Libraries (Fredericton)
March 26, 2004