This week I deepened my acquaintance with Brigham and Gregory. Guy had introduced me a couple weeks ago following his absence from the office. While he was away Gregory was urgently needed, and I could not help, uninitiated as I was. Almost immediately upon his return, Guy rectified that situation, but days and days have passed since, without a deepening of our acquaintanceship. Today, however, I casually asked how often the Pennsylvania Gazette  was published. And this time it was Tim who walked me to the most Ancient Oracle of Newspaper Publishing – Brigham. His expertise, it seems, ends in 1890. But, in the event I ever despair of pertinent cataloging beyond that point, Gregory has the more recent hundred years covered.
So thoroughly were these two scholars made known to me, I have not done any internet research but am glad to recite all the bits and pieces I have gathered.
Long before computer databases, Mr. Brigham compiled the definitive, “History and Bibliography” of existing American publications. Organized alphabetically by state, and then further broken down by individual city, each entry describes the titles published (with chronologically ordered permutations) and then the known physical location of any issues. My collector, seeking a Pennsylvania Gazette  from 1792, might have found the impact of the Stamp Act a strange side note, as this was one of the publications that sought to circumvent the tariff by removing its title and modifying format to a broadsheet. Then again, his concern could be for the changing of the editorial board or ownership, as Benjamin Franklin issues are more popular requests. Scarcity of collections impacts value — and a title held by only one institution is certainly more precious.
The last names of these two compilers appealed to me — as they are in that classification of surnames acceptable as firsts. However, buried within the publisher’s thanks to all who helped with the massive project are a few lines addressed to the Library of Congress, for the office space provided for “Miss Gregory and her staff.” Surprised by the gender of the pronoun, I dug a bit more and found Winifred Gregory listed as the editor.
I like these new experts — and I like the balance of scholarship. Furthermore, I fully intend to deepen this acquaintance with Brigham and Gregory.
In fact, I expect we will become good friends.