Many of you who are our patrons have in the past few years learned to rely on Bill. It’s a reliable kind of name: solid, short, straightforward, dependable. It suits our Bill Edwards-Bodmer to a tee.
The man who has quietly been an anchor for the reading room since 2008, however, has decided to weigh anchor in search of shores not so distant from his Portsmouth home. It seems that little things like the Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel and a 44-mile daily commute can be an impediment for some people. Well, ok, I guess.
I hope to be allowed some latitude for real mixed feelings about Bill’s departure. After all, he was my intern for a year while we labored on the Monitor Collection Associated Records. As a mentor, I am supposed to be thrilled that the fledgling is leaving the nest. Yes, but…
I cannot really think of Bill as a student anymore. He has been a true library professional here. A holder of the MA in History, he has brought enormous respect to our institution from CNU faculty members and other specialists in Civil War history. With his down-to-earth, easy manner in class presentations, Bill is, I am sure, responsible for getting a dozen or more undergraduates interested in volunteering in our Archives and considering Archival Science as a potential career path.
So friend Bill. First-class researcher, top-notch archivist, excellent colleague. All I can do now is extend to you the traditional Mariners’ Museum farewell. Fair winds and following seas!