8th March, 2013

Lora Lashbrook, Marie Lawrence, and Kathleen Farmann

In 2011, Susan Hamilton wrote about the first three female directors at the University of Notre Dame’s Kresge Law Library. Her colleague, Beth Given (Data Management Technician at the Kresge Library and editor of the newsletter) shared those articles with us with permission. Here are some excerpts from Susan’s two informative articles about these three pioneering women from the world of law librarianship: 

Lora Lashbrook (image: Photographic portrait of Lora Lashbrook, Yearbook, University of Notre Dame Law School.)

In 1942, as the law library grew, Lora Lashbrook (LLB) was appointed the second law librarian by the Law School Dean, Clarence E. Manion. She was the first female librarian in the all male law school, initially serving a diminished student body due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the U.S. involvement in World War II. […] Being the only librarian, Lora Lashbrook was responsible for overseeing the entire operation, serving concurrently as the teacher of Research Methodology, the Law School Registrar, and the Administrative Assistant to both the Dean and the faculty members. Dean Manion applauded Lora Lashbrook, giving her credit for the survival of the law school during the critical war years.

Marie Lawrence (image: Photographic portrait of Marie K. Lawrence, GDIS 26/34, University of Notre Dame Archives.)

Marie Kathryn Lawrence was the third librarian and second woman to direct the Notre Dame Law Library. […] Marie was responsible for the law library and its collection for twenty-one years while serving under two law school Deans, Clarence Manion (1941-1952) and Joseph O’Meara (1952-1968). Dean O’Meara wrote of Marie: “She is described… by Professor A.C. Pulling (Director of Harvard Law of long standing), as one of the top librarians of the country. She knows her bibliographies and what an excellent law collection should contain. As a result she is building a well rounded collection that will prove of inestimable value to faculty, students, and those who may carry on research. Miss Lawrence commands the respect of all law librarians from East to West.”

Kathleen Farmann (image: Photographic portrait of Kathleen Farmann, GDIS 25/35, University of Notre Dame Archives.)

When Marie Lawrence retired in 1966 from the law library, Dean Joseph O’Meara appointed Mrs. Kathleen C. Farmann as the third woman director of the law library. […] She had a stellar academic life and a reputable professional, legal, and librarian background before coming to Notre Dame. In her position as library director she was responsible for all administrative functions of the law library in addition to serving on faculty committees in the areas of Recruiting, Admissions, Scholarships, and Buildings, serving as acting faculty advisory for Moot Court programs, and teaching Legal Bibliography, Legal Research and Writing to both first- and third-year law students. She also served as an Assistant to the Dean of the Notre Dame Law School. […] “She was a woman of determination with flaming red hair,” and “she practiced law at a time when there were few women practicing law, let alone in the areas of antitrust and corporate law” said colleague Carmela Kinslow.

You can read the full text of Susan Hamilton’s article about Lora Lashbrook and Marie Lawrence in the January/February 2011 issue of the Kresge Law Library Newsletter (pdf, page 9), and her article about Kathleen Farmann in the March/April 2011 issue (pdf, page 10). All photos in this post are courtesy of the University of Notre Dame archives.


  1. hatercakesss reblogged this from tnye
  2. librariankate7578 reblogged this from womenoflibraryhistory
  3. magnificent--desolation reblogged this from tnye
  4. tnye reblogged this from womenoflibraryhistory
  5. womenoflibraryhistory posted this