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Judith “Judy” Nixon has had a unique and lifelong passion for the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” First published in by Clement Clarke Moore in 1823, it is considered one of the most well-recognized, iconic holiday poems in American pop culture. The poem is also commonly known as "‘Twas the Night Before Christmas" or "The Night Before Christmas." Throughout history, different illustrators have taken to creating their own visual interpretation and depiction of the poem leading to the conception of many, very different illustrations of Santa and ‘home and hearth.’ Judy has acquired a collection of these illustrated versions of the poem, including books, reference books, and personal reference record books, of which she has generously gifted to Archives and Special Collections. This endowment was created to support the collection and acquire similar finely illustrated versions of the story or rare editions that fill important gaps in the collection.
Judy was a librarian for Purdue Libraries for 34 years. During her tenure, she worked in several of the University’s library areas, including Consumer and Family Sciences; Management and Economics; and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education. She worked tirelessly to model and promote the value of librarians and mentored multiple generations of future librarians. In 1989, she received the John H. Moriarty Award for Excellence in Library Service. In 2009, she earned the rank of Professor of Library Science, and she received a tribute resolution from the American Library Association honoring her upon her retirement in 2021.
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