In May 2015, the HMS Board of Directors voted to create an onsite book repair lab within the HMS Library for the purpose of restoring the Society’s current collections. The librarian, Jennifer Miglus, used her talents and archival training for many years, working with HMS volunteers to ensure fragile books would be safely preserved for the future. The room was dedicated to HMS twice-president and long-time supporter Bradford M. Blanchard, MD, FACP, who passed away in June 2015.
The equipment in the book lab served HMS for many years. However, with staffing changes at the UCONN Health Center Library, HMS lost significant archival and preservation talents. Through connections with Ms. Miglus, the Hartford Medical Society board learned that another historic library in Hartford, The Watkinson Library located on Trinity College campus, was undergoing renovations and desired to create a book lab like HMS. Christina M. Bleyer, PhD, Director of Special Collections & Archives, welcomed HMS board members and impressed them with the mission of the library and the facilities. The HMS board, after much discussion, decided on December 4, 2019, to donate the Blanchard Book Lab to the Watkinson Library. However, before plans could be finalized to move the book lab, COVID-19 caused all of the libraries to shut down.
Happily, on March 18, 2022, the Blanchard Book Lab moved to its long-awaited location in the Watkinson Library. We look forward to inviting HMS members to visit later this fall when we plan to have a grand opening celebration.