About Emma

Emma Toedteberg Bookplate

Emma Toedteberg bookplate, illustrated by Edwin Davis French

What is Emma?

Emma is an interactive catalog of the archives and special collections held in the Othmer Library at Brooklyn Historical Society. It includes basic records that describe individual archival and special collections, and links out to fuller, more complete descriptions such as finding aids and inventories when they are available. It is built using WordPress blogging software, hence we call it a catablog.

What materials are not included in Emma?

Emma does not include individual books; these are fully searchable through our library catalog. It also does not include individual images, but rather gives descriptions of larger collections of images. You can view some individual image from our collection in our online image gallery, or visit the library to search a more complete selection of individual images from our collection in our image database.

Why is it called Emma?

The catablog is named after Emma Toedteberg, who was our librarian for more than 50 years. She began as an assistant librarian in 1869, just a few years after the society was founded, and was promoted to Librarian in 1889, serving until shortly before her death in 1936.  Rather than come up with an acronym or some other naming idea, we decided to honor her years of service and dedication to our library in this small way by naming the catablog after her.