Late KU librarian's estate gives $655K to former workplace

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The estate of a late manuscripts librarian at the University of Kansas in Lawrence is doling out another gift of hundreds of thousands of dollars, this time to the place where she worked for decades.

Ann Hyde, who retired in 2000 and died in June 2014, has bequeathed $655,000 to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library, the Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reported. The university publicly announced the gift Thursday.

Her estate previously has donated nearly $500,000 to the Lawrence Humane Society and $230,000 to the Lawrence Public Library.

As part of her job at the library, Hyde catalogued manuscripts and wrote "extraordinarily complete and thoughtful and useful" records of what they were, said Bill Mitchell, Hyde's friend who was the associate special collections librarian at the Spencer site.

Mitchell said he was not surprised by Hyde's generosity.

"She was glad to share (her manuscript knowledge) with anyone who was receptive," he told the newspaper. "What she knew about Medieval manuscripts — well, I'm not smart enough to even know what she knew about Medieval manuscripts."

"These things are in different languages, languages that aren't spoken anymore, and unknown kinds of scripts — she could figure them out," Mitchell added. "She just had a knack. I watched her with students, helping them see what she saw in these illegible squiggles, and she could get through to them."

Douglas County records show that Hyde has donated sizably to nine other organizations, including Kansas Advocates for Better Care, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Douglas County Red Cross, the public library in Greenfield, Massachusetts, and the Royal Air Force Museum in London.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

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