News and Events
Marilyn Link, Link Foundation bring family legacy to life
Library exhibit provides special home for donors' treasures
Beth Turcy Kilmarx, MA '86, University curator of rare books and the Link Collections, holds a photograph of Edwin Link that will be used in a new exhibit at Bartle Library.
The Binghamton University Libraries’ Special Collections department is home to the Link Collections, a vast array of books, papers and other items from aviation pioneer and underwater explorer Edwin A. Link, SD ’81; his wife, Marion C. Link; the Link Foundation; and Hughes Training Inc. Altogether, the collections include roughly 25,000 items.
By the end of this summer, about 100 of those items will be on display as part of a permanent exhibit in the North Reading Room, just outside the entrance of Special Collections on the second floor of Glenn G. Bartle Library.
The exhibit is being created with support from Marilyn C. Link, LHD ’13, and the Link Foundation. Display cases will include photographs, original documents, artifacts and other assorted memorabilia from the Link Collections. There will also be an audio/ video component featuring oral histories and documentaries about Edwin and those who are furthering his work in areas such as underwater archaeology.
“It’s going to be jaw-dropping stunning,” says Beth Turcy Kilmarx, MA ’86, University curator of rare books and the Link Collections.
Access to the collections has been available to the public only during the times that Special Collections is open or by appointment. The exhibit will increase public awareness of items in the Link Collections and make it possible for visitors to view the items during all hours the library is open, even if Special Collections is closed.
“We took great pains to make sure the case is museum quality so the items won’t adversely be affected by display,” Kilmarx says.
Glare-resistant and ultraviolet-protective glass, LED lighting and a separate air circulation system inside the display cases will serve to protect the contents of the exhibit, which will be refreshed once or twice a year, Kilmarx says. The cases will be back loading for security purposes and have an aviation theme, with aluminum on the sides and glass shelves hung by airplane wire.
“This space and these archives will well serve students, faculty and interested friends for generations,” says Thomas F. Kelly, chair of the Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors. Kelly is also a Binghamton professor of strategic management and business ethics.
The new Link exhibit will showcase the “creative genius” of the late Edwin A. Link, who is considered to have created the field of flight simulation, contributed extensively to the field of ocean engineering and instrumentation, and encouraged energy conservation and development, says Thomas F. Kelly, chair of the Link Foundation Board of Trustees and Special Advisors.
The exhibit will also honor the late Marion C. Link, Edwin’s wife and an author, journalist and underwater archaeological researcher. Edwin’s work was supported and enabled by his wife in a number of ways, particularly through her writings that chronicled his accomplishments.
Edwin’s work has also been enhanced through the contributions and support of his sister, Marilyn C. Link.
“I was pleased to be able to make a contribution for the Link library exhibit. Marion and Edwin Link had a long association with the University, not just in support of the library but for Link-endowed scholarships and other programs such as the Link Organ Music Professorship. They established the Link Foundation in 1953 so that the Link legacy would continue beyond their lifetimes and mine.” — Marilyn C. Link, Edwin’s sister and a special advisor on the Link Foundation board