Thank you Karin
Sy's wishes are well know to me. I appraised his collection as you know. You are missing the point on his motivations and his very slow delivery of his incredible maps to you.
The key to Sy, Albert, me and ALL other passionate collectors is that our gifts be USED. We all want to live forever and students USING the material is the ONLY way to do that.
You can become the greatest librarian in the world in these fields IF you find a way to get students deeply involved. NO ONE is doing this Karin. No one in the world is successfully bringing students in and exciting them with special collections. It is morally wrong for any university to be spending money on special collections if strong efforts are not being made by the faculty to bring students IN and get them involved. If you do the math, there is no reason for a special collections library to exist if it is not being actively used to excite students to learn from the materials. It should be closed down, the collections sold and the funds used in fields where students ARE interested.
What a tragedy that I have put 7 people in prison whose USE of special collections libraries was to steal their masterpieces. Is this a reason for a university to spend millions on funding special collections? No. It is a horror, a monstrous waste of private and taxpayer money.
And endowed chair costs roughly $3,000,000 as you know.
For Sy an endowed chair for the study of the history of cartography would inspire a flood of money and further gifts from others. Sy is the most highly regarded physician in the United States by a wide margin. Celebrating his life and the collection that he formed with a FULL professorship focusing on his collection would vault you to first place in the minds of the 900,000 doctors and scientists in the United States.
NO ONE IS DOING THIS NOW.
The field is OPEN to you and is yours for the taking.
But establishing a FULL professorship for the study of the area of the intended gift is key. No one is doing it.
My goal for the next 25 years is to accomplish this.
There is no stature to what Albert, Sy and I have done unless Universities give it their stamp of approval with the creation of a full professorship. Every other honor accorded the gift of a collection is hollow compared to this.
Our greatest asset by far in the United States is our body of full professors in Universities.
UVA has the money to do this. It is up to you to convince them that this is a critical first step to lure gifts to UVA's libraries.