Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Camera-Shy Library Directors

NOTE:  This blog post was last updated on January 15, 2015.

As we saw in a previous blog posting, a few MPL Directors/Librarians have been "camera-shy." We have a place for their portraits on the Library's Directors' Wall, but, sadly, there were no suitable photographs available when the gallery was compiled in 2006.

Norris May Greeson Talley (1895-1981)
MPL Librarian/Director

Sharon Beatrice
MPL Librarian/Director

Each of these librarians/directors made important contributions to the Library and its public services.  We wish we could share their portraits.  It would help readers to connect with them as individuals dedicated to MPL and its continued growth, development, and improvement.

Headstone of Ira Manley Talley (1894-1918) &
Norris May Greeson Talley (1895-1981)
at Mooresville (Indiana) Cemetery

Click Images to Enlarge

It's no substitute for a portrait, but we found Norris Greeson Talley's grave marker in Mooresville (Indiana) Cemetery.  (As MPL Indiana Room historian, that's one of my frequent patron requests--to find decedents' tombstones and obituaries.)  There is obituary information in our Legacy Links database, as well as from the Find-a-Grave website.

Digging deeper, we discovered a group photo that includes Norris (misspelled "Morris") Greeson in the 1911 Mooresville High School yearbook, but the names at the bottom don't correspond with the arrangement of the people in the picture.

 Mooresville High School Class of 1913
from 1911 MHS Yearbook

Fortunately, we have another photograph with handwritten names on the back.  Norris is standing in the back row, fourth from the left.

Mooresville High School Class of 1913
(Talley is misspelled in the MHS alumni summary)

Handwriting on Back of Photo
Identifying Persons Pictured
Along With MHS Alumni Records
for the Class of 1913

By comparing the 1911 yearbook photo with the other picture of the MHS class of 1913, we're confident that we have a match for Norris Greeson (Talley).

These group yearbook photos, however, did not scan at sufficiently high resolution to create a suitable "isolation image" of Mrs. Talley.  Thankfully, Christopher Marshall, librarian and team leader in the Indianapolis Special Collections Room at the Indianapolis Public Library, located a digitally-scanned photo including Mrs. Talley that should be ideal for enlarging.  (Mrs. Talley is in the very front, on the left, with the purse leaning against her left foot.)  The photo (click below to enlarge) is also available in the IPL online digital collection.

Indianapolis Public Library Staff (April 12, 1948)
(L to R:  Norris Talley & Marian McFadden are in the very front)
(Photograph by Kenny Strattman)
(Digital image courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library's
Indianapolis Special Collections Room)

The front of IPL Central hasn't changed much.  Here is the MPL staff on an in-service visit to IPL.

MPL Staff in front of Indianapolis Public Library
(October 13, 2014 In-Service Training)

We also received a fine digital image of Mrs. Talley from Rachel Metheny of the Broadway United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.  The photo was scanned from a church membership directory.

Norris May (Greeson) Talley
(from the Broadway United Methodist Church Directory) (ca. 1970s)

Now all we have to do is enlarge an "isolation shot" from one of these digital images and place Mrs. Talley in her rightful place among our library directors' photo gallery.

We thought it fitting to include Mrs. Talley's obituary, as it affords further details from her career as a librarian.

Obituary of Norris May Greeson Talley
(from the Franklin [Indiana] Daily Journal, September, 1981)

The only image we have of Sharon Beatrice (MPL Director, 1984-1987) is from two newspaper articles, the first of which is on microfilm.

The [Mooresville, Indiana] Times, August 5, 1987, p. 5a
(Sharon Beatrice is on the far left)

Obviously, the original microfilm leaves something to be desired.  So we used our digital microfilm scanner/reader to brighten it.

Digitally-Enhanced Microfilm Image

Let's check our Indiana Room vertical files for an original newspaper clipping.  It's from another newspaper.

The [Martinsville, Indiana] Reporter, August 7, 1987
(Same Photo as Above)

That's a little better, but still not up to public display standards in our directors' photo gallery.

We appreciate the many contributions that Mrs. Talley and Ms. Beatrice made during their respective tenures as MPL Director.  If, by some incredible coincidence, Ms. Beatrice is reading this blog posting (probability slightly less than hitting the moon by throwing a stone into the air), please send us your photo.  An 8" x 10" portrait would be fine.  Color, please and thanks.  Glossy is okay.  Digital photo is even better.  You know our mailing address and email (they're on our web site home page).

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