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Veteran curator of Morrow library at Marshall dies

Jun. 15, 2013 @ 11:32 PM

HUNTINGTON -- Longtime curator of Special Collections in Morrow Library at Marshall University died Friday at St. Mary's Medical Center.

Lisle G. Brown, formerly of Salt Lake City, Utah, has served as the curator since 1972. He was 69.

"With Lisle's death, all of us who value local history have lost a hard-working colleague who shared our passion," said James E. Casto, the retired associate editor of The Herald-Dispatch and the author of a number of books on local history.

Prior to working at Marshall University, Brown worked as a manuscripts librarian, stacks manager and student assistant at University of Utah.

"Each time I approached a new history project, one of my first steps was to reach out to Lisle and enlist his help. He never failed to disappoint me," Casto said. "He not only searched the Marshall collection for pieces of whatever puzzle I was working on, he often suggested new areas of research I hadn't even thought of. He wasn't just a colleague, he became a friend who will be sadly missed."

Brown has been featured in more than 20 publications, including "West Virginia: A Historical Resource Guide" and a variety of research reviews.

He graduated from University of Utah with a bachelor's of fine arts in painting and drawing; a master's of library science from University of Oregon; master's of art in history and religious studies from Marshall University; and completed an Internet specialization program also at Marshall.

Brown also served on the West Virginia Historic Records Advisory Board.

"The library community and the community of scholars and friends who have had the privilege of encountering Prof. Lisle Brown during his tenure of over 40 years in the Marshall University libraries are saddened by his passing," said Dr. Monica García Brooks, assistant vice president for Information Technology: Online Learning and Libraries.

Brooks referred to Brown as the "driving force behind creation and development of the Special Collections," helping locate a variety of collections that were unique to the Huntington, Marshall and Tri-State area.

"His dedication to preserving and providing materials that enrich the scholarly and historical endeavors of the students, faculty, and residents of this region is unparalleled -- we are reeling from this tremendous loss."

Funeral service for Brown will be 11 a.m. Friday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Huntington. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens, Huntington. Visitation is from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Wallace Funeral Home, Barboursville, and after 10 a.m. Friday at the church.