Closing the Attic

Let me start with a Creighton’s Attic tradition of using this photo of workers installing hands on the St. John’s Church clock to remind you of the time change this weekend.


We started Creighton’s Attic several years ago as a way to share some of the interesting images and information about Creighton’s history that we found while processing collections, responding to requests, or planning projects.  It has been a great way for us to connect with the Creighton community in good times and bad – like last spring, when we offered Creighton-themed puzzles in the hope that people feeling isolated would have a temporary diversion and maybe even feel a little bit connected.

After neglecting Creighton’s Attic for several months, we decided it is time to bring this blog to a close.  Archives and Special Collections is in the early stages of a major transition.  My last day as Creighton’s University Archivist will be April 1, and our department will temporarily be unavailable to receive donated artifacts or to respond to requests for images and information.  Thomas Haggstrom, who readers will know has worked with us first as a Creighton student and more recently as a graduate intern, will serve as interim archivist.

It has been my privilege for over fourteen years to serve as Creighton’s University Archivist.  There have been many interesting projects and programs, some wonderful finds, great photos and artifacts.

saddle in atticAbove, the Creighton side saddle as it appeared in in 2007 when we removed it from the Creighton Hall attic.
Below, the saddle after the outstanding conservators of the Ford Conservation Center used their skills to restore it.

Saddle_StageThere have been more than a few frustrations as well, but I don’t want to focus on those.  Instead, I want to concentrate on the scores of wonderful individuals who supported our work, collaborated with us, encouraged me personally, allowed me to laugh and cry with them, and repeatedly demonstrated Christ’s love, compassion and mercy.

The list of people I want to thank is extremely long, so please know my brief comments are just the tip of a very large iceberg of gratitude.

  • I have worked for some amazing bosses.  Thank you for your trust, support and advocacy.
  • My colleagues from Reinert, Health Sciences and Law libraries are incredible people who make our university – and the student experience – better.
  • I am grateful to the many individuals from the Creighton community who partnered to preserve and share our institution’s history.  Thank you for welcoming my participation in your classrooms, meetings, programs, project planning sessions, celebrations, prayer services, and outreach.
  • To the large number of women and men who embody the Jesuit principles, I will be forever grateful for your prayers, compassion and friendship.
  • I have treasured my time with Creighton Jesuits – working on projects, breaking bread, discussing music and art, laughing, playing, planning, and worshiping.
  • The women and men from Public Safety, maintenance, custodial services, moving, mail services, central receiving, card services and IT patiently and repeatedly helped me with problems great and small.
  • Volunteers shared their time and memories to show me repeatedly how special this institution has been over the years.
  • Key supporters allowed me to tackle wish list projects, overcome challenges, and deepen my faith.
  • Fellow archivists, historians, curators, conservators, and other cultural professionals from AJCU schools and in the Omaha metro area provided much-appreciated advice, insights, understanding, and camaraderie.

I saved two groups for last, and I will be a little less brief for these folks.  First, the staff of the department I lead is phenomenal.  These four individuals – Greg, Rose, Karl and Carol – regularly take on a wide range of challenges, cheerfully and wholeheartedly, to help anyone who needs their assistance.  They are dedicated, talented, intelligent, creative, resourceful, patient, caring, . . . .  I could go on and on.  For now, though, let me just say that you repeatedly impress me.  It has been an honor to be on your team and to have you as friends.

I have been blessed immensely by the student interns and workers who have been such important members of the Archives and Special Collections family.  It has been a joy to see your pride of ownership for our department, and I know that you have been key to any and all good work we accomplished.  Because of your efforts, we did so much more than I thought possible; and because of your good ideas, what we did turned out better.  You shared your laughter and tears with me.  You celebrated your accomplishments – and there have been many impressive accomplishments – with me.  You indulged my stories and jokes.  You let my family be yours when you couldn’t make it home for a holiday.  You sought my advice on matters large and small.  I have been at your weddings.  I have held your children.  I am so very proud of you, and I want to thank you, more deeply than I know how to put into words, for allowing me to be a part of your lives.

To all of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

David Crawford



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