Eileen M Curran (Acting Librarian, 1973-1976)

EMC 1970s

English Professor Eileen M Curran, 1970s. She served as Acting Librarian while continuing to teach courses in Victorian literature.

After Kenneth P Blake resigned as Librarian in 1973, James Fraser of Fairleigh-Dickinson University was hired as his replacement. A contract with Colby was signed in 1973. However, commitments at Fairleigh-Dickinson delayed his arrival on campus. English Professor Eileen M Curran was appointed Acting Librarian for the 1973-1974 academic year. During that year, Fraser became increasingly disinclined to move his family to the relatively rural area of central Maine. His contract was terminated amicably in 1974. Curran was appointed for an extended term as Acting Librarian.

Eileen M Curran was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1927, the only child of Edward O. and Laura (Meyer) Curran. She received a B.A. degree with highest distinction from Cornell University in 1948; an Honours B.A. from Cambridge University (England) in 1950; an M.A. from Cambridge University in 1953; and a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1958. She was an instructor of English at the University of New Hampshire, 1951-1954; a teaching assistant at Cornell, 1950-51 and 1954-56; instructor in English at Ohio University, 1956-58. At her death, she was professor of English emerita at Colby College, where she taught from 1958 until retiring in 1992. An authority on 19th-century British periodicals, she was an associate editor of The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, volumes 1-3, contributed to other reference works, and published many articles, both in print journals and more recently on-line. Curran died in Maine in 2013, aged 85.


Previous to her librarian appointment, Curran contributed articles to the Colby Library Quarterly. She served as secretary-treasurer for the Colby Library Associates during her tenure as Acting Librarian. In 1975, anticipating the retirement of Curator Richard Cary, she successfully advocated for the relocation of Special Collections into the purview of Miller Library, with the department supervised by a Special Collections Librarian instead of a faculty curator. Cataloguing and other staff support for Special Collections was also incorporated into Miller Library operations at her urging.

Works consulted:

Annual Report of the Curator of Rare Books, 1973-1975. Colbiana Collection. Colby College Special Collections.

Annual Report of the Librarian, 1973-1976. Colbiana Collection. Colby College Special Collections.

The Colby Echo. Waterville, ME: Colby University/Colby College. Web.

Colby Library Quarterly. Waterville, ME: Colby College Library. Print and web.

Eileen M Curran Papers. Colby College Special Collections.