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Release: Immediate

International studies bibliographer for UI Libraries dies Feb. 28

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- John Bruce Howell, 55, international studies bibliographer at the University of Iowa Libraries, died unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 28 after a brief hospital stay.

Howell made invaluable contributions to the global and area studies collections at the Libraries, especially in African studies and studies of the developing world.

Arriving at the university in 1985, he was the first to hold his position at the Libraries. It was created through the Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Libraries to help develop the Libraries' international collections. According to Library officials, Howell left them immeasurably richer through his labors.

He received a bachelor's from Columbia University in 1965, a master's in library science from The University of Michigan in 1966, and a doctorate in library and information science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in 1984.

Howell held several positions in the African Section of the Library of Congress between 1969 and 1980. A national leader in Africana librarianship, he served in various roles on the Africana Librarians Council of the African Studies Association and recently as chair of the Cooperative Africana Microform Project at the Center for Research Libraries. He published numerous bibliographies and articles and recently initiated a World Wide Web-based electronic journal on Africana bibliography.

While his specialty was African studies, Howell at various times covered almost every non-U.S. and non-European geographic area in the world.

"He was a genial colleague whose encyclopedic knowledge of publishing in the developing world was invaluable to the Libraries and the library community," said Edward Shreeves, director of Information Resources and Collections. "He will be profoundly missed by his colleagues at the UI and his many colleagues and friends around the country."

Howell is survived by his wife, Barbara Howell.