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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine


Anthony Dellureficio
Anthony Dellureficio

Anthony Dellureficio

Why did you choose to do your MSc at Manchester?

As an American looking to further my studies in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, I knew there are very few, if any, master’s programmes in this field in the United States. I specifically chose Manchester for two reasons. First, CHSTM is listed as a Wellcome Unit. Its affiliation with the Wellcome Trust, one of the largest funders of History of Medicine research in the UK, indicated to me that CHSTM had a level of both institutional support and standards which I respected. Second, there are a number of professors with whom I was eager to work based on my familiarity with their writing in the history of genetics and the history of medicine.

What was the highlight of the MSc/being at Manchester for you?

CHSTM has a close-knit community of professors, post-docs, and graduate students. I enjoyed interacting with them in small class settings as well as at weekly seminars, departmental events, and informally in the CHSTM library. The highlight for me was being a part of this community where I felt I was constantly learning as well as contributing.

What was the subject of your research project?

My MSc dissertation, which was published in early 2010, was on the topic of ‘positive eugenics’ in Britain.

How has your career progressed since completing the MSc?

In the field of Library Science, in which I had previously worked and received a master’s degree before attending The University of Manchester, the standard for advancement is to have a second master’s degree in a subject area. Having the second subject-area specialty opened up a higher pay grade to me and allowed me to apply for jobs to which I could not have previously applied. I am now the Systems Manager for all libraries at the New School University in New York with additional duties developing science collections and reference as a science librarian.

“ The highlight for me was being a part of this community where I felt I was constantly learning as well as contributing.”

What does your current role involve?

As the Systems Manager, I oversee the digital laboratory, maintain all library servers and databases, troubleshoot our Integrated Library System, and plan technology implementation for the libraries. Because of my science background, I am also in charge of selecting new library acquisitions for the science department and providing reference support for the sciences.

What do you enjoy the most/what is the most interesting thing about your job?

What I love most about being a systems/science librarian is that I am constantly a part of the research community. I am encouraged to pursue my own history of science interests by my department and regularly publish review articles and write on the history of science. At the same time, I enjoy knowing that my work as a librarian aids other researchers in pursuing their topics. I am able to make information available to them and help them find ‘hidden’ research materials.

Do you think the skills you learnt on your Masters helped you secure your current role? If so, how?

Aside from my previous mention of the requirement for a second subject master’s in the library field, my master’s at CHSTM helped me sharpen my writing and researching skills which are both vital parts of librarianship. Those are the very skills I am helping others hone through their research.

Do you have any advice for people who might want to follow in your footsteps?

For anyone interested in science or history of science librarianship, I would advise coupling the CHSTM master’s with a Master of Library Science degree, and use the time at CHSTM to gain experience understanding how researchers conduct their work, how search strategies can be improved, and what ‘hidden’ collections may be available through archives and special collections.

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