James Tanis was the leading rare book librarian in the United States for over 40 years - first at Yale University and then Bryn Mawr College. His understanding and devotion to material culture had a deep influence on a broad spectrum of students, professors, collectors, dealers, administrators and his fellow librarians who adored him.
Every aspect of our society was of interest to him and any friend could be sure of his rapt attention on any subject. And at the end he would make a comment that showed profound knowledge.
Like many of the Dutch, James was far too interested in creating a better world for scholars to allow for any prejudices. The magnificent inner beauty that resulted from this was the reason for my devotion to him. He was a beautiful man representing a nation that rose from being on a land mass that was virtually 10 feet under water 1000 years ago to one of the great, sound nations of the world today where the only judge of a person is their accomplishments and contributions.
He represents the highest level of pure goodness that has ever been part of my world