UC Berkeley professor emeritus Robert Harlan dies at 84Historians in the News
tags: Emeritus Robert Harlan, UC Berkeley
Known for both his dry humor and inexplicable love for cats, professor emeritus Robert Harlan, who died peacefully on April 8, left behind a powerful presence on the UC Berkeley School of Information and the Bancroft Library. He was 84.
After a brief teaching stint at the University of Southern California for a few years following graduate school, Harlan found his true home at UC Berkeley as a faculty member in the School of Librarianship — now known as the School of Information — in 1963. Referred to as “Bob” by his fellow colleagues and students, Harlan devoted his time to researching early printing practices, specifically the export of British books to early American colonies.
Upon his arrival at UC Berkeley, Harlan became fascinated with both the San Francisco printing world of the 19th century and the Bay Area fine printing movement of the mid-20th century, publishing several books on the subject. Even though most of Harlan’s research required solitary work, he still found time to invest himself in his students’ studies.
“He was the kind of person who always had his door open to faculty and students,” said UC Berkeley School of Information professor emerita Mary Kay Duggan, a former colleague of Harlan. “He was a person who students could talk to.”
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