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Monday, August 2, 2021

Ruth Freitag, Librarian to the Stars, 96. But dies

“It will take months and even years to do these bibliographies,” said Jennifer Harbuster, head of the Science Reference Section at the Library of Congress. “It wasn’t like you just found a title and put it in your bibliography. She’ll annotate it all.”

He also compiled bibliographies on general-interest topics, including the presidential inauguration, and whether a new decade or year ending in zero or a year ending in 1 is assumed to begin. Ms. Freitag, along with other official sources, strongly believed that they begin at 1 – the 21st century, for example, began in 2001, not in 2000, despite many celebrations to the contrary.

As the third millennium began, he collected a booklet, “Battle of the centuries” (195), with lively quotes about the ongoing controversy from the ages.

“Bibliographic work may seem dull at first,” he told The Gazette, an internal library of Congress in 1990, “but it can really grow on you, to the extent of becoming a vice president.”

Ms. Fritag spoke several languages ​​and knew all the proper pronunciation to put on the words – “all unusual for whatever language she was writing,” said Brenda Corbin, former head librarian at the Naval Observatory. When the computers first arrived, Ms. Corbin said, Ms. Fritag was “not happy” that she didn’t have accent marks, which meant she couldn’t write correctly. “She was meticulous.”

Ms. Fritag often helped researchers in their writing.

“He was one hell of a copy editor,” said Mark Litman, a former long-time director of the Hansen Planetarium in Salt Lake City, who shared some of his popular astronomy works (including “Planet Beyond” and “Totality: Eclipse of the Sun”) Researched. “) In the Library of Congress.

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