After we contacted his daughter, Tama Baldwin, about the award, she sent this reply:
I can't tell you how pleased my sisters and I are to learn that you are honoring Don's contributions to bookmark collecting. He would have been so thrilled. I also should thank you for the beautiful remembrance you wrote about him in 2016 that I somehow missed until just a week ago when I was exploring the links you shared. That was such a beautiful testimony. I know that would have thrilled him as well. My sisters and I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. The precision of your observations was especially valuable as you bore witness to a part of his life we didn't really know a lot about. Please do keep us informed about his award. We are honored to accept it on his behalf.
We have sent the certificate to Tama to share with her sisters. We have also sent a copy along with this article to the University of Iowa Library where Don’s collection resides with his notes and research. One of the librarians said, “Thanks so much for reaching out to us. I've been lucky enough to see Don's collection of bookmarks, and it's such a great collection. I think it wonderful that he be remembered with this award.” Those of us not able to see the collection in person can only imagine the richness of his careful curation and the rarities that are at least well protected and preserved in Iowa.
Normally, we would interview the award winner and create a member profile. Although we can no longer hear from Don directly, we are fortunate that there are traces of his collection and his voice that we can bring together.
Just recently, I came across another reminder of Don’s character. In 2009 correspondence with Lauren Roberts (IFOB member, collector and editor of the former BiblioBuffet site that featured a column on bookmarks), Don sent her copies of some bookmarks he had made recently.
Typical of him, he said, “Note that one of the early bookmarks is small and has no cover. It also has an identity which shows I was developing some pride in my results. That’s a practice I have since dropped.” Generous with his homemade bookmarks as well as praise for BiblioBuffet, he was also practical and humble in his efforts to feature his collection.
Don was especially interested in categorizing bookmarks by the type of blade or page flap. He developed a language for these, and experimented with different ways of grouping them, which he talked about in the virtual convention.
Along with his presentation on organizing bookmarks by physical characteristics, Don contributed examples to the galleries for the 2010 Bookmark Collectors Virtual Convention, such as these listed in the gallery on series .
Don posted a number of his bookmarks to Flickr and organized them into categories .
There is also an article about the exhibit of his collection at the Iowa City Public Library in the Iowa City Press-Citizen, 11 July 2011, p. 3 by Josh O’Leary, unfortunately behind a paywall.
All of these views into Don’s collecting interests and practices remind us how devoted he was to his hobby, and serve as a model for other collectors. We are honored to bestow the Asim Maner Award for 2021 on Don M. Baldwin, 1927 – 2013.
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