$1M Gift Endows Director of Special Collections and University Archives

New gift from the Giustina Forest Foundation will secure outstanding leader and enhance vital library resources

L-R: UO student Jeffrey Newmark, Nick Giustina, arts and administration instructor David Turner, student Indigo Vance Eyebright, Dan Giustina, student Esther Weng, Dean of Libraries Adriene Lim

The autographs of every U.S. President from Washington to Reagan. Oregon Trail diaries handwritten by nineteenth-century pioneers. Original glass-plate negatives of historic Native American portraits. Bill Bowerman’s letterman sweater and the game ball from the 1920 Rose Bowl. The manuscript of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, straight from Ken Kesey’s typewriter. A folio of Shakespeare’s plays published in 1632. A limited-edition artist’s book printed and bound only weeks ago.

What do these things have in common? They all share the same home.

Featuring one-of-a-kind documents, rare volumes, original works of art, and more than a million photographs, the University of Oregon’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) constitute an unparalleled record of Pacific Northwest history and culture—one of the largest such collections in our region.

Now excellence, innovation, and first-rate leadership in stewarding this vital resource have been assured.

The Giustina Forest Foundation has pledged $1 million to endow the Giustina Director of Special Collections and University Archives. In the upcoming months and in perpetuity, the gift ensures that the library will always be able to recruit and retain the strongest possible candidate to fill this essential leadership role.

“We are incredibly thankful to the Giustina Forest Foundation for this exceptional and highly relevant gift,” said Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and Philip H. Knight chair. “Among other important duties, the director is ultimately responsible for overseeing the permanent preservation of unique, often priceless materials. The person who fills this role will also facilitate public access to these collections and, in that way, is a valuable partner of our high-achieving faculty members and students.”

UO President Michael Schill, who is an avid book collector, said this gift will keep giving for generations.

“Our students, scholars, and all who appreciate the rich history and culture captured in the UO’s special collections and archives will benefit from this amazing gift,” said Schill. “This endowment provides security, prestige, and resources that will help us to attract and keep the very best leader to care for our precious library resources.”

A key part of any research library’s holdings, special collections and archives are at once a source of knowledge about the past and the raw material for future scholarship. Spokesperson Dan Giustina ’72, MBA ’74, said that members of the Giustina Forest Foundation were “astounded” to learn about the depth and breadth of the UO Libraries’ archives. They were also quick to recognize the need for exceptional SCUA leadership.

“For the Libraries as well as the entire UO, we can accept nothing less than the best of the best,” asserted Giustina, a former trustee and past president of the UO Foundation Board. “Our goal is to recruit a scholar and leader of the highest caliber, not only to manage what the library has, but to continue strengthening and diversifying the collection through acquisitions.”

Dan’s brother, Nick Giustina ’72, MA ’81, a longtime educator, spoke of the archives’ value to students. “The library is the true center of the university; the place where learning is amplified. And for many learners, Special Collections is the window into the library. These collections can act as direct inspiration for the achievement of students. By promoting individual students’ engagement and success, we can ultimately provide the greatest good for the greatest number.”

Dean Lim echoed his view that the new endowment would be long lasting and far reaching in its impact.

“The Giustina Forest Foundation has given a priceless gift not only to the UO Libraries, but to all those who have an interest in preserving our state’s cultural heritage and in enhancing the university’s research, teaching, and learning outcomes,” she said. “Truly, this is a milestone day.”

Located on the second floor of Knight Library, the Special Collections and University Archives are open to the university community at regular hours during the school year and between terms.