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About the Leisure Reading Collection

An Old Friendship Yields Benefits for Today’s Students

The University Libraries recently received a $50,000 bequest
from Abbie Jean Quick (1910- 2000) of West Hartford in memory
of her friend Elsie Gray Marsh (1887-1966). These funds have
been placed in an endowment with the UConn Foundation to
support the newly established leisure reading collection in the
Homer Babbidge Library, which will be called the Abbie Jean
Quick Leisure Reading Collection.

Miss Quick was born in Hartford and was graduated from the
Connecticut Agricultural College in Storrs in 1932. At the time
of her retirement in 1975, she was Personnel Director and
Consultant with the Atlanta-based manage- ment-consulting firm
of Kurt Salmon Associates, Inc., after 31 years with that
company. While a student at the Connecticut Agricultural
College, she met Elsie Gray Marsh, a reference librarian in the
college library, beginning a life-long friendship that
eventually led to her generous bequest to the library.

Elsie Elsie Gray Marsh (1887-1966), was
the first librarian of the Mansfield Public Library and
also a reference librarian at the Connecticut Agricultural
College Library. Her life-long friendship with Abbie Jean
Quick has led to an endowment to support the new Leisure
Reading Collection in Babbidge Library.

Miss Marsh was born in Mansfield, the daughter of Dr. Elliot
H. Marsh and Eunice Anthony Marsh. She graduated from Windham
High School in 1904 and took courses at the Columbia University
School of Library Service but never earned a library degree.
When the Mansfield Library was organized in Mansfield Center in
1907, Elsie became the unofficial, unpaid librarian. In 1909,
at age 22, she was appointed librarian officially when the
library was set up in the upper floor of the old brick school
in Mansfield Center. She served in that capacity until she was
forced to give up her duties for health reasons after 50 years
of service.

In 1928, she was also appointed as reference librarian at
the Connecticut Agricultural College Library, where she worked
with her close friend, Head Librarian Edwina Whitney. She
continued to work at the college library until 1949 when her
eyesight had failed to the extent that she could no longer
drive. She was then appointed Reference Librarian,

Miss Marsh was an avid reader from her earliest years and in
her duties at both the Mansfield Library and the College
Library she promoted reading actively. It is especially
fitting, therefore, that the income from Miss Quick’s bequest
will be used to support a popular reading collection.

Norman Stevens, Director of University Libraries,