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Baldridge, Alan.
Baldridge, Alan.
Baldridge, Alan, Wible, Joseph, and Baldridge, Sheila
Corporate Author:
Stanford Historical Society
Alan Baldridge, a former librarian at Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, discusses the path that led him to Stanford, reminisces about change over time at Hopkins and some of his colleagues there, and talks about whales and whaling in the Monterey Bay area. His wife Sheila Baldridge contributes to the interview. Baldridge discusses his childhood in Darlington, England, and the lifelong love of libraries that inspired him to remain in the field. He tells the story of how he only narrowly missed a wartime bombing in Middlesbrough in 1948, talks about his national service requirement at the Royal Air Force base in Anglesey, Wales, and recalls meeting Charles Tunnicliffe, the wildlife artist, on the island. Baldridge briefly recounts his library education in Newcastle, where he met Sheila, and his experience working in the libraries of Liverpool, first at the Liverpool public library and afterwards in the Liverpool School of Art. During this time, he took advanced classes in library work. Baldridge reminisces about how his position at the School of Art exposed him to American literature and the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which inspired in him a desire to see the birds of the western United States. American libraries were recruiting European librarians to meet expanding demand in the 1950s and 1960s, he says, enabling him to take a library job in Portland, Oregon, in 1962. Baldridge recalls how a conversation with a librarian at the California Academy of Sciences led him to apply for a job at Hopkins Marine Station where he was hired as a full-time librarian in 1966. With the future of the Hopkins Marine Station beginning to look uncertain, in 1974 Baldridge took a job at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). He remembers some of the benefits of working at RSMAS and living in Florida. In 1978, the Hopkins Marine Station began to improve with the appointment of director Colin Pittendrigh, who enticed Baldridge to return. He recalls the creation of the Friends of Hopkins and the move of the library collection from the Loeb building to the Monterey Boat Works. Baldridge concludes the interview by discussing changes in the whale population on the West Coast and recalling a time in the 1960s when whalers still operated out of Richmond, California.
Alan Baldridge, Stanford Historical Society, oral histories, interviews, staff, Hopkins Marine Station, whales, England, World War II, libraries, and Monterey
May 14, 2012
Stanford Historical Society Oral History Program interviews, 1999-2012