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Robert Harlan

Robert Harlan

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September 19, 2014
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September 19, 2014
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April 12, 2014
Many of his students called him “Uncle Bob”—don't ask me why!—when I was his research assistant in the early 1970s. That was the era in which I wore my hair long with a headband, and Prof. Harlan hired me as his R.A. because he liked my “hippyness,” and, after all, this was Berkeley! Bob Harlan changed lives, including mine. He supported my interest in history and the book as an artifact; he helped me find employment at the Kemble Collections at the California Historical Society, and later at the Indiana Historical Society; he introduced me to George Harding and Arthur Towne, both of whom were important figures in preserving the history of printing and publishing in the San Francisco Bay Area; and he encouraged me to complete my doctoral dissertation, when I had almost run out of steam. And he did this with his wry good humor, his sharp intellect, and his sensible approach to historical research and writing. We also shared a mutual love of cats, most recently his lovely Abby. Professor Harlan was my mentor in every sense of the word. I was happy to have kept in touch with him and visited him after his retirement, and I shall miss him greatly. RIP, Uncle Bob; we love you and you shall be missed!

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Professsor Harlan (at right) in 1971

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