November 13, 2020

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

I write today with the sad news that Jeffrey H. Kaimowitz, longtime curator and director of the Watkinson Library and member of its Board of Trustees, died on November 9 at his home in West Hartford, Connecticut, at age 78.

Jeffrey earned a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, both in classical languages, Latin and Greek. He also spent a year studying in Greece at the American School for Classical Studies at Athens. Jeffrey’s numerous academic honors included being elected to Phi Beta Kappa and winning a Fulbright Scholarship and a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship.

After teaching Latin for several years at Miami University in Ohio and later at Trinity College, Jeffrey shifted to library work at the New York Public Library’s Spencer Collection of rare books and manuscripts. While in N.Y.C., he earned an M.L.S. from Columbia University.

Jeffrey joined the Watkinson Library as curator in 1977 and continued working with faculty and students until his retirement 32 years later. Leonard Banco, M.D., president of the Watkinson’s Board of Trustees, recalled Jeffrey’s enormous impact at Trinity and beyond.

“Jeff shaped the Watkinson as we know it today, adding major collections, expanding teaching and research opportunities, and acting as a teacher and mentor for generations of Trinity students,” Banco said. “He was a passionate classics scholar with important publications and translations. His passion extended to the library as well, as an advocate for strengthening its collections and activities and support for his staff.”

Ever the classics scholar, Jeffrey also published a translation of The Odes of Horace. His work, labeled “groundbreaking” by publisher Johns Hopkins University Press, won the 2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title honor.

Jeffrey is survived by his wife, Llyn Kaimowitz; son Simon Kaimowitz; sister Carol Kaimowitz; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Ralph and Francene Conrad.

On behalf of the entire Trinity community, I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Kaimowitz family.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience