18 Jul 2013

Lorna Daniells, Former Head Reference Librarian at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library, Dead at 94


BOSTON—Lorna Daniells, a prominent research librarian who worked at Harvard Business School’s Baker Library from 1946 until her retirement in 1985, died on June 11 in Bloomfield, CT, at the age of 94. During her nearly 40 years at HBS, she served as chair of the Library’s reference department from 1970 to 1974, head of the department from 1974 to 1979, and as bibliographer from 1979 to 1985.

According to Stephen A. Greyser, the School’s Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration Emeritus, “Lorna was a rare combination – very knowledgeable about all facets of her work and very supportive in all her interactions with faculty, always providing service with a smile and often guiding researchers in directions they may not have considered before meeting with her. She represented the best tradition of a world-class research library known for assisting people from Harvard Business School, Harvard University, and around the world in the pursuit and development of knowledge and ideas. She not only sustained that reputation but enhanced it.”

Walter J. Salmon, the School’s Stanley Roth, Sr. Professor of Retailing Emeritus, added, “As head of Baker Library’s extraordinary research activities, Lorna was an integral part of the tradition of great service to the faculty and business community. She was thoughtful, responsive, diligent, and innovative. Beyond the HBS faculty and other scholars whom she helped make use of Baker Library’s resources, she helped educate generations of research staff, enabling them to follow in her footsteps. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with her.”

In 1978, Daniells published a book titled “Business Information Sources,” which for many years was the leading comprehensive financial information source guide for universities and business leaders across the country. “That important work was the textbook in my business reference sources course at the University of Michigan,” said Baker Library Information Research Specialist Erika McCaffrey. “It was a privilege for me to have Lorna as a mentor and colleague when I began my career at Baker. She was the person we all went to when we were stumped with a reference question, and she almost always found an answer. Lorna was generous, helpful, kind, and always humble.”

Former Baker librarian Christopher Allen commented, “Gone but never forgotten, Lorna was one of the very special people in my life. She was a quiet inspiration, not just to me but to many others as well.”

Lorna McLean Daniells was born on July 13, 1918, and raised in Toledo, OH. She received her BA in history from Miami University (Ohio) and her master’s degree in library science from Columbia University. In addition to her work at HBS, she served as a consultant for several other business schools, contributed to numerous trade publications, taught business information science at Simmons College, and was chairman of the Boston chapter of the Special Libraries Association for several terms.

A longtime resident of Cambridge during her years at Harvard, in 2001 Daniells retired to the Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield to be nearer to her family, particularly her late sister, Martha. She spent many happy years as a resident there, chairing the hospitality committee for a time and taking full advantage of retired life.

Although she never had children of her own, Daniells devoted much of her personal life to her nieces, nephews, and their children as a loving aunt, mentor, teacher, and benefactor in countless ways, from baseball and football games to birthdays and graduations. And as all her knew her can attest, she never passed up an opportunity to enjoy a good piece of chocolate.

Daniells is survived by a sister, Elizabeth, of Bloomfield; nieces Sally Jans-Thorpe and her husband, Markus, of Basel, Switzerland, and Molly (Austin) Toomey and her husband, Kevin, of Manchester, CT; nephews Bill Austin and his wife, Roxy, of Simsbury, CT, and Shao John Thorpe of Bolinas, CA; and 14 grandnieces and grandnephews.

Funeral arrangements were private. Contributions in Daniells’s memory can be made to the Seabury Charitable Foundation, 200 Seabury Drive, Bloomfield, CT 06002.


Jim Aisner

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.