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March 8, 2012

Obituary: Glenora “Nory” Rossell

rossellRetired University archivist Glenora Rossell, who was known as Nory, died at home Feb. 25, 2012. She was 86.

A native of Johnstown, Rossell came to Pitt in 1958 as a documents librarian. In 1961 she became the first librarian stationed at the then-Graduate School of Business. While serving in that position, Rossell also was named assistant professor of business bibliography (1964-65), followed by her serving as assistant to the director of University Libraries (1965-66), adjunct assistant professor of business bibliography (1966-67) and assistant director of University Libraries (1967-69).

In 1970, she was named University Libraries director, a position she held until 1983 when she was named director of University Archives. She retired in 1988.

Former colleague Ray Anne Lockard, an art librarian at Frick Fine Arts Library, said: “Nory was an amazing woman, very sweet. She always had a wonderful smile on her face. As a new art librarian (in 1986), I had an assignment of writing the history of the Frick Fine Arts Library. It was to Nory that I went first — she was head of Archives then. She was very approachable and became as excited about my project as I did. She would call me in the mornings remembering more about my predecessors and would have pulled more files for me to review.”

Lockard continued, “Nory was one of the first people in the librarian system to be warm, welcoming and caring to me as a newcomer to Pittsburgh. Many people who worked for her when she was director of libraries admired her a great deal. She was an excellent librarian and devoted to public service.”

Mary “Gussie” Dimmick, a retired Pitt reference librarian and friend, remembers Rossell as “a capable, enthusiastic, caring library director. She was a wonderful person. No director who followed her could even come close. The library staff under her leadership worked in a joint effort; it wasn’t a bureaucracy. Staff members worked closely together and there was great morale in those days.”

Prior to coming to Pitt in 1958, Rossell worked as a reference and education librarian at Brooklyn College (1954-57), a librarian at DuPont (1953) and a librarian at Juniata College (1948-51), where she received an A.B. degree in Spanish and history in 1947.

Rossell also worked as a school librarian in the Natrona public schools (1947-48). She held a Master of Science in Library Science degree from Columbia, earned in 1952.

Rossell was a member of a number of professional societies, including the American Library Association; the Pennsylvania Library Association; the Pittsburgh chapter of the Special Libraries Association, of which she was a past president, and the Tri-State Association of College and Research Libraries.

Her main professional interests were academic library administration and business bibliography.

Rossell is survived by many nieces and nephews; a stepson; three step-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.

The family suggests that memorial donations be made to Beulah Presbyterian Church, 2500 McCrady Road, Churchill 15235.

—Peter Hart

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