Potash Hill

Galbraiths leave library legacy

In November, Marlboro dedicated the John Kenneth and Catherine Atwater Galbraith Library Collection, a gift from their sons Peter, James and Alan in recognition of their parents’ relationship with Marlboro as trustee, friend and neighbor. James Galbraith and Peter Galbraith, a current Marlboro trustee, each offered their views on the legacy of their father in a symposium following the dedication.

“A library is a window into the lives of the people that built it,” said Emily Alling, library director, in her dedication comments. “Looking through the books that now sit on these shelves, one certainly finds that the academic interests and career paths of both Galbraiths are robustly represented. But alongside biographies of prominent politicians, we find a worn copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. Books on Vermont are nestled in among books on India and China. Edward Gorey’s Amphigorey is interfiled with classic works of literature.”

Emily added, “In the months since the collection has been installed and shelved, many people have expressed surprise and delight at being able to view and even handle books belonging to one of the 20th century’s most prominent public intellectuals. The collection is located such that every admissions tour on campus pauses next to it as they wait to enter the Plan Room, where Marlboro graduates’ Plans of Concentration are shelved. It is fitting that prospective students and their families are welcomed to Marlboro by a collection of books that reflects so many of our institutional interests—a global perspective, economics and sustainability, the study of languages and literature—as well as the college’s historical and ongoing connections with the Galbraith family.