Nancy Norton Tomasko passed away

Posted: Monday, 7 January 2019 - 2:46pm

January 7, 2019. It is with great sadness that we notify hereby the Princeton community that Nancy Norton Tomasko, 71, passed away on December 28. At Princeton, many students and scholars will know her as the decade-long editor of the East Asian Library Journal, which she helped to make into the very first Western language journal devoted to the history of the East Asian book; but her editing assistance to many of other friends and scholars went further than that.  Nancy was one of the early groups of US graduate students to study in mainland China in the early 1980s, and she wrote her PhD at Princeton under Kao Yu-kung, an innovative description of the network of the poet Zhong Xing.  She became a foremost specialist on Chinese papermaking and bookbinding, and taught at various places, including Princeton, Connecticut College and especially at Bryn Mawr. Her sharp eye for logic and languages, as well as her own deep interest in book history, improved all the many articles and books which went through her hands. It is worth singling out the work she did on investigating one of the founders of the Gest Collection, I.V. Gillis: she brought together people working separately on his navy and book collecting careers, added to that research herself, and then was greatly instrumental in bringing the book A Plain Sailorman in China to fruition. In addition, she was always ready to help with book-binding and paper-related issues at the East Asian Library, and the staff there will miss her greatly.

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