UC Riverside alumna, Anna Gutierrez (language major), recently received a position as a cataloguing assistant for the French Pamphlet Collections at the Newberry, a distinguished independent research library in Chicago. The Newberry was founded in 1887 and primarily collects original documents from the late medieval period onward. Its collections boast roughly 1.5 million books, 5 million manuscript pages, and 500,000 historic maps, with a focus on European and Western Hemisphere history, literature, and culture.¹ The Newberry holds a National Medal for Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, and it is dedicated to promoting research and scholarship in the humanities.
The library’s French Pamphlet Collection is one of the largest compilations of original French Revolution material to date. The collection spans the years 1780 to 1810 and includes about 30,000 pamphlets, as well as 180 periodicals. Ms. Gutierrez says the highlight of her career thus far is getting to work with these historic documents. Her role is to catalog the French texts, creating a record for each one, so they will be easily accessible to library patrons. Although the work is challenging, Gutierrez gets to spend hours each day learning about her passion—French culture and history—and improving her language skills as she reads over primary documents. She describes her work as “fun,” and there is a clear level of energy and enthusiasm when she talks about it. Gutierrez has been working at the Newberry since September and her goal is to eventually go into the field of library science with a specialization in special collections.
According to the 2008 graduate, “my time at UCR prepared me completely for where I am today.” Gutierrez started out in French 1 at UCR, where she laid the foundation for her future scholarship. From our campus she has gone on to complete a masters in French Language and Literature at the University of Notre Dame, worked as a French teacher (both at a high school and a college level), and garnered this impressive position at the Newberry. Gutierrez goes on to thank her French professors at the University (Christine Duvergė, Kelle Truby, Michelle Bloom, and Theda Shapiro), who she credits with inspiring her studies.