Clark Special Collections Branch Dedication
In a surprise ceremony on Thursday morning, April 10, Lt. Gen. J. D. Dallager, the Superintendent of the Air Force Academy, announced that the Special Collections Branch of the Academy Library would be named the Clark Special Collections Branch, in honor of Lt.Gen.A.P.Clark,USAF(Ret.).After the ceremony, the honor to General Clark was announced to the entire Cadet Wing at the noon meal. This recognition reflects General Clark’s tireless devotion to the Academy Library and The Friends for over 30 years.
Gen. Clark’s interest in the Academy Library was very evident during his tenure as Superintendent. In 1973, he donated his personal collection of 32 firearms, issued to the U.S. military from the American Revolution to the war in Vietnam, to the library.
Following his retirement from active duty in 1974, General Clark continued his commitment to the library. His initial work was developing and shaping the rich history of Stalag Luft III, which has become the centerpiece of the prisoner of war holdings in the Special Collections Branch. This collection ranks among the finest in the world.
In February 1987, General Clark worked with the Director of Academy Libraries and Academy Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Winfield W. Scott, Jr., to establish The Friends of the Air Force Academy Library. Serving as the Secretary and subsequently as the President of The Friends, General Clark has led the organization in
accomplishing a myriad of projects that have enhanced the quality of the Academy Library.
In 1989 The Friends initiated a conservation project to ensure the preservation of the rich holdings of the Colonel Richard Gimbel Aeronautical HistoryCollection. In1994,The Friends began the task of producing an annotated bibliography to selected holdings within the Gimbel Collection. General Clark was instrumental in the entire process which resulted in the publication of the catalogue, The Genesis of Flight: The Aeronautical History Collection of Colonel Richard Gimbel, in October 2000. It has received glowing reviews worldwide from scholars of the history of aeronautics.
The Academy Library and The Friends have benefited immeasurably from General Clark's tireless efforts and his devoted and inspired leadership. It is therefore both fitting and proper that the Special Collections Branch of the Air Force Academy Library be named for him.