by Patricia Ogburn
Processing the Oliver Statler Papers was an archivist's dream. The man was so well organized and consistent in his filing system that it made the arrangement of the material fairly easy. I tried to keep it the way he had it so that it would reflect his detail oriented mind and the thoroughness in which he researched and wrote his books.
The primary challenge was trying to adequately describe the wealth of information contained in the voluminous amount of material he collected. The collection reflects how meticulous he was in his collection of source material for accuracy and documentation. Researchers could use these materials to produce many more publications on various topics from art, woodblock printing, Japanese history and geography to a myriad of cultural traditions in Japan.
I did not have the good fortune of personally knowing Mr. Statler. But as I watched his life unfold through the biographical papers, memorabilia, letters and photographs, I came to understand what a warm, personable human being he was as well as an intelligent, gifted writer and professional teacher. As I worked I would often glance at a photograph of him on my desk. It captured a twinkle in his eye which reflected the keen sense of humor I had come to know through his letters to friends. So sometimes when I was in doubt as to whether I should save something or discard it, I would ask "What would you want me to do?" Now, I think you know what the answer was! The man truly saved EVERYTHING. So I would only omit the duplicates, triplicates, etc. The collection is very much intact as it was given. It is documentation of a well lived life. I consider it and honor and privilege to be one of many who helped to preserve the memory of a truly remarkable man.
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