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Memorial: Harold Billings, 1931–2017

Harold Billings

Harold Wayne Billings, library director emeritus of the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, died on November 29, 2017, at age 86.

Harold Billings began his career at UT Austin in 1954 as a cataloger, subsequently serving as assistant chief catalog librarian, acquisitions librarian, assistant university librarian, and associate director of the General Libraries. In 1978 he was named director of the libraries, a position he held until his retirement in 2003.

Billings was active in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), serving on the Board of Directors (1989–1992) and several committees, including the Task Force on National Library Network Development (1982–1983), Public Services Project Advisory Committee (1982–1984), ARL Microform Project Preservation Program Advisory Committee (1983), Committee on Preservation of Research Library Materials (1983–1986), and Research Collections Committee (1990–1992).

In 2002 the American Library Association awarded Billings its annual Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award for his “long commitment to innovation in automation, resource sharing and creative management.” The University of Texas Libraries designated two scholarships in his honor and gave him the title of library director emeritus. Billings wrote and edited works about authors, including Arthur Conan Doyle, and received the 2006 Morley-Montgomery Award for his essay “The Materia Medica of Sherlock Holmes.”

Contributions can be made to the University of Texas at Austin General Libraries c/o Billings family, PO Box P Mail Code S 5400 Austin, Texas 78712.

For more information about his life and career, see Harold Billings’s obituary from the Austin American-Statesman.