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Marcia Thomas

Marcia Thomas

Professor's Book Honored Among Best Bibliographies

February 2, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - John Wesley Powell: An Annotated Bibliography, a work compiled by Marcia Thomas '72, associate professor and director of technical services for The Ames Library, has been named one of the "Best Bibliographies in History 2004-2005" by the References and Users Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

Thomas received an Artistic and Scholarly Development grant from Illinois Wesleyan to research and write the bibliography, which was published by Praeger Press.  In the announcement of the honors, Thomas' book was described as a "generously annotated and clearly organized bibliography" that includes both published and unpublished primary sources, and secondary sources ranging from articles in magazines to scholarly monographs, dissertations, and Internet resources.  "This bibliography is especially useful in its organization of Powell's writings in their many venues: from government reports and Congressional hearings to newspaper articles, speeches, correspondence, and conference proceedings."

Each year, the Reference and User Services Association History Section's Bibliography and Indexes Committee honors outstanding book-length English-language bibliographies in the field of history.  The committee's goal is to encourage both the work of scholars in the bibliography of history and the publishers who support this important activity.

John Wesley Powell (1834-1902), a famous explorer, scientist and teacher, led the first successful passage through the Grand Canyon in 1869.  Powell taught at Illinois Wesleyan in the 1860s, and led students on field trips to the Rocky Mountains thought to be among the first of their kind in the history of American higher education.  He also received an honorary degree from IWU and was one of the two designers of the University seal.

Powell later became director of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institute.  He carefully documented his groundbreaking explorations, and his geographical and anthropological studies are essential to the study of the history of the American Southwest and the Native peoples there.

Contact: Ann Aubry, (309) 556-3181