The Hagley Library announced that it has established a fund honoring Lynn Catanese, chief curator of library collections, who passed away on July 1.
The fund will support the development and accessibility of collections in Catanese’s areas of interest, including women’s history and design history.
An employee of Hagley for more than 28 years, Catanese was hired as an archival specialist in 1990 and rose through the ranks to become supervisor of the manuscripts and archives department in 2002 and chief curator of library collections in 2011.
Catanese felt strongly about including women’s roles in the stories Hagley’s collections told about enterprise and commerce. She authored “Women’s History: A Guide to Sources at Hagley Museum and Library” in 1997 and directed researchers toward important corners in collections usually not associated with women’s history, like the Women’s Department materials in the records of the National Association of Manufacturers, which worked to recruit women’s support of NAM’s pro-business positions and initiatives from the 1960s through the 1980s.
Catanese built new collections as well, such as the papers of Lois K. Herr, whose landmark case against AT&T’s Bell System in the 1970s shaped corporate law and policies regarding gender equality. During Catanese’s tenure at Hagley, the library also acquired Avon Products’ records, and Catanese encouraged Avon to continue contributing material to the collection in the years following that acquisition. More recently, she succeeded in her decade-long effort to bring the records of Catalyst Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to making workplaces more inclusive for women, to Hagley.
Catanese’s other collecting passion focused on industrial design, and she was an aficionado of mid-20th-century design, in particular. During her tenure, Hagley saw a valuable influx of mid-century design history collections. She ensured important contributions to the Irv Koons papers, Thomas Lamb papers, Marc Harrison collection and Marshall Johnson papers, as well as the seminal Raymond Loewy collection. She brought in the papers of Ken White, Richard Hollerith, John Gordon Rideout and Everett Worthington. She also oversaw the transfer from Winterthur of the papers of William Pahlmann, an important interior designer whose work could be seen in restaurants and hotels throughout the world in the 1950s and 1960s and eventually inspired the sets and style of AMC’s award-winning “Mad Men” about the 1960s American advertising industry.
Contributions to the Lynn A. Catanese Fund for Collections in Women’s History and Design History will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Hagley. The fund will support the acquisition of materials in women’s and design history and will make such collections accessible to researchers. Financial contributions can be mailed to the Hagley Museum and Library Development Office, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807. Donors should note in the memo field that the donation is for the Lynn A. Catanese Fund.
Questions can be directed to Andrew Engel, director of development, at 658-2400, ext. 329, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more, visit hagley.org.