Roman Drazniowsky, former curator of the American Geographical Society Collection, died on July 8, 2006.
Born in 1922, Drazniowsky joined the staff of the American Geographical Society in 1962 as map curator. As the financial position of the society began to deteriorate in the early 1970s, "Dr. D" as he was called, assumed added responsibility, eventually taking charge of the library and the editorship of Current Geographical Publications. When the library and map collection sought a new home, Roman was a key figure in the process which ultimately selected UW-Milwaukee (UWM) as the new home of what came to be called the AGS Collection (AGSC).
It was only natural that Roman followed his collection to Milwaukee in 1978, and became its first curator: he oversaw the collection's move, its unpacking, and its redeployment in its new space at UWM. In his fifteen years in Milwaukee, he was able to pass on not only his knowledge of the collection, but also much of the lore of the society and his deep understanding of map and geography librarianship as a profession.
In addition to his role with the AGSC, Roman also held adjunct faculty appointments in UWM’s Geography Department and its School of Library and Information Science (now School of Information Studies), and taught courses on cartographic resources and map librarianship (as he had done at Columbia University before moving to Milwaukee).
Roman retired from UWM in 1993, only to pursue an active second career at the Free University of Ukraine, in Munich, Germany, where he taught geography, and served as rector. Roman's busy retirement did not permit many return visits to the library though he did serve on the AGSC Advisory Committee.
Roman Drazniowsky (Necrology). 2006. AAG Newsletter 41(8): 22.