Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

April 2005


As a research librarian for the past twenty years, I have often envied the scholar who made a serendipitous discovery in the stacks — a stash of historic letters tucked inside a book, an adventurer’s lost diary, a rare book shelved alongside the ordinary. Little did I imagine that a chain of such discoveries would occur in my own life when six months after my mother’s death I traveled from my home in New Haven, Connecticut, back to Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to spend a week with my father organizing family memorabilia.


Reprinted from Common-Place, Volume 5, Issue 3, April 2005, 15 pages. Publisher URL:

NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Martha L. Brogan was an Independent Digital Library Researcher and Consultant. Currently June 2007, she is Associate University Librarian for Collection Development and Management at the University of Pennsylvania.



Date Posted: 24 July 2007