Hilda Raz's papers, library donated to UNL Archives

Released on 02/24/2011, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Neb., February 24th, 2011 —
Hilda Raz and her son, Aaron Raz
Hilda Raz and her son, Aaron Raz

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries has received a donation of materials from Hilda Raz, former editor of the Prairie Schooner and emerita faculty member of the Department of English at UNL.

Raz donated both the papers associated with her term as the editor of the prestigious literary magazine and those relating to her own publications, teaching and research. The materials include manuscripts, publication materials for her books, correspondence, teaching files and selected photographs. Materials relating to Raz's position as editor of the Prairie Schooner will be placed with the records of the magazine.

"The collection helps to illustrate Raz's connection with other Nebraska poets and authors, her process as a published poet, and preserves the record of her career at UNL," said UNL Libraries archivist Mary Ellen Ducey.

Raz, who began teaching at UNL in the 1960s, became the editor of the Prairie Schooner in 1987 and founded the Prairie Schooner Book Prizes in poetry and short fiction. In 2002 she became the first Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner. She has published and edited numerous books as a poet and nonfiction writer. Raz continues to be in demand as a visiting scholar to graduate programs and writer's conferences across the country.

During her long career at UNL, Raz's research changed as her interests evolved over the years. She said she hopes scholars working with her collections will find a model for the protection and support of their changing research and creative evolution that she experienced. Raz said she hopes that students will find her drafts as a continuously developing process and that they too can feel reassured in taking the time to develop their own creative and writing process.

Raz said she didn't think of donating her own papers until her good friend and colleague, Sue Rosowski, died. "My opportunity came through a colleague who understood the value of our own research and my family was also a great support to me about donating the rights as well as the materials. The University Archives will not only shelter and protect my papers but they will also benefit from them. Mary Ellen Ducey and her staff are wise custodians," Raz said.

In addition, Raz donated her personal book collections on topics of feminism, feminist poetry, and those addressing issues faced by Lesbians, Bisexuals, Gays and Transgendered people. Her books, particularly those she collected over time related to feminism and LGBT issues, will become the Hilda Raz Feminist Library, and Hilda Raz and Aaron Raz Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender Library.

"Another significant impact this donation has on the Archives is that it helps us to document diverse communities such as LBGT and Women's Studies. These types of collections become part of the institutional history and make it more diverse by its inclusion," Ducey said.

As both a scholar/writer and parent of an LGBT child, Raz helped chronicle some of the deeply personal process of the complete identity change of her child in the book, "What Becomes You," co-written with her son, Aaron Raz Link. Through that process, Raz gained an awareness of the diversity among LGBT people and has hopes that this collection will "allow that same awareness to reach students."

Ducey said it's an honor to work with retiring faculty to create a legacy for them and their work, while at the same time creating a resource for future students and poets.

The collections can be used 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Special Collections Reading Room, 29 Love Library.

WRITER: Joan Barnes, University Libraries, (402) 472-6987

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