Teresa M. Brinati 2015-04-01 11:10:23
A brief note in neat cursive on lined paper arrived in the mail at SAA in early February. Sylvan M. Dubow of Frederick, Maryland, was inquiring about articles that he had contributed to The American Archivist more than four decades ago. “If they are still available I would appreciate receiving copies,” he wrote. In the post script he stated that he received SAA’s address from Maida Loescher, a former coworker at the National Archives. Intrigued, I did a quick search of The American Archivist Online, which yielded a trove of pieces written by Dubow between 1967 and 1975: seven reviews of books on Jewish history and one article, “The Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington: Its Archival Program.” It turns out that Dubow was that rare species: a repeat contributor to the journal! I made copies of his articles and organized them in a binder, then mailed it to him, along with an invitation to catch up with SAA. “It was nice to re-read the pieces after all these years,” Dubow, 93, shared in a recent phone interview from his assisted living residence in Maryland. Born on December 24, 1921, Dubow was raised in Baltimore. He attended American University in Washington, DC, where he majored in communications. During World War II he became a civilian employee in the US Army. “I wanted to enlist, but was either too heavy or too blind!” he quipped. He worked initially as a correspondence clerk answering questions from military personnel regarding records held at the Adjutant General’s Office at the Department of the Army and the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. He often consulted Veterans Administration. In 1960 his unit was transferred from the Department of the Army to the National Archives and Records Administration from which he retired on October 31, 1987. While at NARA, he joined SAA, attended a few Annual Meetings, and wrote for The American Archivist. “It was an opportunity to do research in my own interest—Jewish history and Jewish military history,” Dubow added. “The articles were based on material gathered from the archives.” He said that he also prepared articles for the American Jewish Historical Society and the Western States Jewish History Association. In his spare time he was a tour guide for the Jewish Community Center in Washington, DC. “As part of the communications business, I also appeared on some game shows on the radio and won a bag of groceries,” Dubow recalled, “but getting published [in The American Archivist] is still tops.” Your Stories, SAA’s History SAA is talking a lot about stories and storytelling these days, particularly in light of President Kathleen Roe’s “Year of Living Dangerously for Archives” campaign, the Committee on Public Awareness’s initiatives, and the Oral History Section’s ongoing oral history interviews of SAA leaders. Your stories are the history of SAA. Thousands have passed through the membership rolls in the nearly eighty years since SAA was established—volunteering their service on groups and in leadership positions, going to conferences, and even quietly helping to fill the pages of the journal. Some stories get shared easily; others are discovered serendipitously. All of them provide glimpses of the growth of this professional association and, of course, the archives profession. Is there someone with a story to tell—perhaps a teacher, a mentor, or the author of an article that left an indelible impression on you? Let us know at email@example.com. We’d love to catch up!
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This page can be found at http://www.bluetoad.com/article/Catching+Up+With+Sylvan+M.+Dubow/1968054/251532/article.html.