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Resear ch Center , Frank L. Hor ton Museum Center in the Basement


collect highly specialized materials compared to a regular public library, they both serve researchers near and far, day in and day out, with the aid of a dedicated staff hidden away from public view. Before long, though, both operations will be


moved to a more public view, when space in the Horton Museum Center is converted into a state-of-the-art library and research center facil- ity. The project was made possible after long- time supporter Tom Gray made a significant pledge earlier this year of nearly $2 million to fund converting the space to its new uses. Tom’s gift establishes an endowment to support a rare book room in the library and includes his own important collection of North Carolina books and manuscripts from circa 1590 to 1860. Ragan Folan, chairman of Old Salem’s Board


of Trustees, made the announcement of the gift during the museum’s annual meeting held May 19. She thanked Tom “on behalf of the board of trustees, staff and the thousands upon thousands of people who will benefit from your generosity for years to come.” She added that the new library and research center will be named The Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Library and MESDA Research Center in honor of Tom and his mother. While both the library and research center


A significant gift from long-time Old Salem supporter Tom Gray enables the museum to convert space in the Horton Museum Center for a state-of-the-art library and research center.


Summer/Fall 2011


are named in honor of Tom and his mother, Director of Research June Lucas explains that the library and the research center are two sepa- rate and distinct entities. While a researcher might visit both places, June says that each has its own specific purpose and target. “The library’s primary function is to support the staff of Old Salem and MESDA. We are constantly on the lookout for books that will add to our areas of focus, and the staff knows we’ll do our best to add books that they uncover, too.” The MESDA research center, on the other hand, houses information about southern craftsmen and their products and is an invaluable resource for any- one investigating the South. Primarily made up of bound volumes, the


library’s very specialized collection covers North Carolina history (both before and after the arrival of Moravians in 1753); the history of the Moravian Church (in North Carolina and else- where around the world); and southern decora-


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Director of Research June Lucas (left) and Librarian Michele Doyle peruse the stacks of the Old Salem library.


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