By Megan Moore
BU News Service
The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center honored Nobel Peace Prize winner and Boston University Professor Emeritus Elie Wiesel Sunday afternoon with the opening of a new exhibit featuring his papers and manuscripts.
Wiesel was scheduled to speak at the event but was unable to attend, and instead delivered a video message to his guests.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life learning and teaching and all of it was done within the framework of Boston University,” Wiesel said. “It was a home for me. When I come to Boston University, I feel academically at home.”
Rabbi Emeritus Joseph Polak, author of After the Holocaust the Bells Still Ring and one of the speakers at the event, said that even as Wiesel’s fame grew, so did his love for his students at BU.
“Statesmen, stars, scientists and poets can deposit their work where they like, but these, Eli Wiesel’s papers, truly do belong in the institution where his students perpetually challenged him, where even as he stimulated their intellectual and emotional growth, so did they do the same for him,” Polak said.
Complementing the importance of students to Wiesel, each piece featured in the exhibition was mounted by students involved in the project. About 59 individuals, including full-time staff at the Research Center, BU work-study students, and students and interns from Brandeis University and Simmons College, helped make the exhibit possible.
It took several years for the archive, which consists of 330 boxes of materials in four different languages–French, Yiddish, Hebrew and English–to be cataloged. The archive is available online with an electronic finding aid that makes it searchable by name, date and subject.