MBLC Mourns the Loss of Gregor Trinkaus-Randall


August 20, 2019
Celeste Bruno
Communications Director
1-800-952-7403 x208

The MBLC is mourning the loss of former Preservation Specialist Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, who worked at the Board for over 30 years and became nationally and internationally recognized for his work in preservation and disaster preparedness. MBLC Chairman Roland Ochsenbien said, “Gregor’s loss is felt by all of us and his family is in our hearts and minds. His legacy will be felt not only within the library community, but extends to cultural institutions across Massachusetts and the United States.”

Among Gregor’s many MBLC projects was “Finding Common Ground: Collaborative Training for the Cultural Heritage and Emergency Response Communities,” which was funded through a prestigious $196,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). This project built on the quarter century of the MBLC’s statewide preservation activities and the work of its partners--the statewide cultural heritage emergency network, COSTEP MA, the Massachusetts Archives, the New England Museum Association, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services-- to ensure that the cultural heritage community is included in a municipality’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) and that emergency responders play a formal role in the protection of local humanities collections.

In 2009, he led the effort to make libraries in Massachusetts disaster recovery centers (DRC) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  In the wake of the massive flooding in eastern Massachusetts, and subsequently, the devastating tornadoes that tore through the western part of the state in 2010, several libraries including Lakeville, Billerica, Middleton, Lancaster, and Quincy opened their doors as DRCs, and librarians there were trained to begin the work of recovery as soon as possible.

He was elected a fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in 2006, and served as president of the Society from 2011 to 2012. As chair of the SAA’s Preservation Section, he was instrumental in coordinating the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and Hurricane Wilma. In 2006 the SAA recognized him in a Council Resolution for distinguished service to the Society and its members regarding his hurricane response work. In 2008 he was awarded the Heritage Preservation and American Institute for Conservation Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. He also received the 2012 George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Preservation Award (ALCT/PARS), and in 2013 he was presented with the New England Archivists’ (NEA) Distinguished Service Award, honoring his dedication and service to promoting the NEA’s mission and goals. In 2018 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Academy of Certified Archivists.

Gregor graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with Master of Arts degrees in History and Library Science/Archives Administration. He was also a graduate of the Preservation/Conservation Internship at Yale University. His work for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners included implementing the statewide preservation program, the MBLC’s Emergency Assistance Program, and its Environmental Monitoring Program.

About MBLC

The Board of Library Commissioners ( is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.