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Fresno State library name removed due to namesake's beliefs

Fresno State library (FILE)
Posted at 10:06 AM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 13:06:36-04

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — California State University trustees voted to remove the name of a former librarian from the Fresno State library after revelations in his personal documents that he held antisemitic views and was a Nazi sympathizer.

The board vote Wednesday stripped the name of Henry Madden, who was the university librarian from 1949 to 1979.

The library was named after him in 1980 and he died in 1982, leaving to the university 53 boxes containing more than 100,000 letters and documents that were to remain sealed for 25 years.

A task force of researchers and scholars found that Madden personally curated the materials, was fully aware of their contents and knowingly included the disturbing letters and documents in the collection, a university statement said.

“While Dr. Madden had the opportunity later in life to reflect on those views, there is no evidence that he renounced those views,” said Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.

Task force chairman Michael Lukens told FOX26 News in December why it took so long for the materials to come to light.

Lukens said there wasn’t a specific effort to closely go through the papers because Madden was not a major figure in the community outside his role as librarian.