May 26, 2022

Former University of Kansas Librarian Bequeaths $1M for KU’s Spencer Research Library

From the University of Kansas:

On a visit to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who did not know the work and impact of Sandy Mason.

A distinguished librarian at KU from 1957 until she retired in 1999, Alexandra “Sandy” Mason was Spencer’s first librarian. She died in June 2011, leaving a $1.03 million estate gift to KU Endowment from her TIAA-CREF retirement account to benefit KU Libraries, and specifically, the Kenneth Spencer Research Library.

Her gift will establish the Ann Hyde Fellowship for Medieval and Early Modern British and European Manuscripts in honor of Mason’s lifetime friend, Ann Hyde, who died in June 2014. Hyde was manuscripts librarian at Spencer Research Library before she retired in 2000.


Beth Whittaker, KU Libraries assistant dean for distinguished collections and director of the Spencer Research Library, worked with Mason as a student assistant from 1992-1994 before joining the library in a professional capacity in 2009.

“Sandy was a pioneering scholar-librarian,” Whittaker said. “She played a significant role in building the renowned and rich collections within this library, and she encouraged me to become a librarian. It is an honor to accept this truly transformational gift.”

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.