Joan Y. Harris: Celebrating an Archival Legacy

Charles Dyer and Joan Harris, outside UB's Hilda and Michael Bogomolny Room 
Last Saturday, Langsdale Library honored the legacy of archival collection donor, Joan Y. Harris, ACSW. Ms. Harris devoted her career to Baltimore as a public school social worker, supervisor, and administrator. Her collection of archival records, known as the Baltimore City Public Schools Social Work Services Records (BCPS), is one of over 150 collections held in Langsdale’s Special Collections.

Want to know more about Ms. Harris’ contributions to school social work in Baltimore and the archival collection she donated to Langsdale Library? The BCPS collection guide in our archival database is the best place to start! Our donor herself has written an impressive narrative introduction to the project, with detail and precision that is characteristic of all Ms. Harris’ work!

The BCPS collection was scanned and put online in its entirety several years ago, through the determination and perseverance of Special Collections’ staff members, including Angela Koukoui. These digital files are accessible through the database, or this handy PDF document.

At last weekend’s ceremony, Joan's friends, family, and colleagues gathered with members of the UB community to recognize the importance of preserving the archives of school social work. Ms. Harris herself spoke to the enduring value of these records, which provide historical insight into the challenges of teachers, administrators, and youth in the City’s public school system through the significant changes of the 20th century. Langsdale thanks Ms. Harris and archival donors like her, whose careers and contributions become part of Baltimore history through preservation in the archives.

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