BR. JOE GRABENSTEIN is a native of Cumberland, MD. He has been working in the Archives of La Salle University and of the Baltimore District since 1992, and took over both operations in 1994. Brother Joe received his M.L.S. (archival track) degree from the University of Maryland in 1992. He has given several hundred classroom presentations at La Salle University regarding Lasallian legacy, and has written a handful of history-related articles in Lasallian publications. Brother Joe’s favorite hobby is traveling to museums and battlefields, and he can’t resist the urge to read roadside history markers during countless trips throughout the East. As Moderator of the La Salle Singers (campus choir), he attends the twice-a-week rehearsals and has coordinated a drive to virtually double the membership during the past year. His greatest surprise came in 2007 when the La Salle University yearbook staff dedicated the Explorer to him; his student workers keep excellent secrets! Brother Joe will continue to manage the Archives of the former Baltimore District, located at La Salle University, and will visit each school in the southern half of DENA at least once per year. He also hopes to gradually visit the schools, one by one, in the northern half of DENA during the next three or four years. And just for the record…both Amy Surak and Brother Joe will collect documents springing from DENA (that is, documents and items since September 9, 2009).
AMY SURAK has been the Archivist of Manhattan College since 2002. In this role, she will continue to oversee the management of the Archives of Manhattan College and of the former New York and LI-NE Districts. These collections (and additions thereto) continue to be housed in the O’Malley Library at Manhattan College in a state-of-the-art facility. A native of Buchanan (NY) and a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Amy received her M.A. in history and museum studies and her certification in archival management from New York University in 1999. During several trips to Rome, she has rendered invaluable assistance to the Motherhouse Archives in the modernization of its computer system. Hobbies include running and reading, when time allows. She married computer programmer Adam Bleakney in 2005, and their combined talents resulted in the user-friendly archival computer program which Amy has named “Archiver.” (Sounds a bit like the TV show “McGyver,” quips Amy!) She and Adam live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and they justifiably beam at the mention of their two young sons, Nathan and Owen.
BR. WALTER FARRELL is our friendly “neighbor to the North.” Born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton (Nova Scotia), he has been the Archivist of the District of Toronto since 1990. Brother Walter graduated from the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) and received his archival training in Toronto by way of a number of workshops with “hands-on” techniques and experiences. Like Amy Surak and Brother Joe, Brother Walter has been a faithful member of the De La Salle Regional Archivists Association and has attended virtually all of the yearly meetings at rotating locations. The Archives of the former Toronto District continue to be housed on the property of the De La Salle “Oaklands” Community on Farnham Avenue in Toronto. This is because of Canadian laws which protect such holdings as national patrimony. If anyone has a question about the history of the Brothers in Toronto, Brother Walter is an e-mail away.
Hello, I am in search of the biography of my husband’s great uncle who was a Christian Brother named Brother Abranan, according to our family records. He was born Dominick Scanlan in County Sligo and travelled to Toronto during the Irish famine, 1847, or there about. We have his mother listed as Ann Burns and his father as Patrick Scanlan, who may have died on the journey from Ireland. In our records we have no date of death, no photos and no information. I would like to give Brother Abranan a face and a story if at all possible. Thanks so much for all you do!