On October 24, at a meeting of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, the 2017 Roger McDonough Librarianship Award was presented to Thomas J. Frusciano, the university archivist of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. This award is named for Roger H. McDonough, New Jersey state librarian from 1947 to 1975. Beginning in 2002, the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, together with the New Jersey Historical Commission, Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference-New Jersey Caucus, and the New Jersey Library Association History & Preservation Section, has given this award annually to a librarian, archivist, or manuscript curator for excellence in service to the New Jersey history research community and/or the general public.
A New Jersey native, Tom Frusciano is a tenured member of the library staff at Rutgers University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives. He began his professional career as an archivist at Educational Testing Services in Princeton. He then became the first professionally trained university archivist at New York University, and later coauthored New York University and the City: An Illustrated History. At Rutgers since 1989, Frusciano has written or edited histories of the presidents of Rutgers, Douglass College, and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team, among many other subjects. In recent years, he played an integral role in the 2016 Rutgers 250th celebration, library exhibit, and commemorative historical volume entitled Rutgers: A 250th Anniversary Portrait. Starting in 2015, he also served on the Rutgers Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations, which produced the report Scarlet and Black. This committee’s important work has led to the new naming of James Dickson Carr Library (formerly Kilmer Library), now named in honor of Rutgers’ first African American graduate.
Beyond Rutgers, Frusciano has long been professionally active, particularly in the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). He was elected to the SAA Council from 2009 to 2012, coedited the SAA manual Archival Arrangement and Description (2013), and was named an SAA Fellow in 2002. He has taught archival courses at both New York University’s Archival Management and Public History program, and the Rutgers School of Communication and Information. Some of his former students are now archivists and librarians at archives, libraries, and historical societies throughout New Jersey and elsewhere. He has also served on several editorial boards and coedited the Journal of Archival Organization.
Tom is the fourth recipient of the McDonough Award from Rutgers University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives, following Bonita Craft Grant (2011), Janet Riemer (2014), and Ron Becker (2015).