In Memory

Patricia Molen (Van Ee)

Patricia Molen (Pam) van Ee

APRIL 24, 1944 – APRIL 24, 2020

Former WMS member Patricia Molen (“Pam”) van Ee, a longtime resident of Columbia, Maryland, died suddenly in a nursing/rehabilitation center in Laurel on April 24, her 76th birthday. She was born in Glendale, California, the second daughter of Philip Daniel Molen and Virginia Solomon Molen. Pam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1966 and went on to obtain Masters degrees in United States history from Johns Hopkins and William and Mary.

In 1971 she began her career at the Library of Congress as a historian with the American Revolution Bicentennial Office. After a stint as an examiner at the U.S. Copyright Office, she joined the Library’s Geography and Map Division for the remainder of her tenure. There she served as a specialist in cartographic history and played a role in building up the division’s unrivalled holdings. With her close friend Ronald E. Grim, Pam edited the occasional papers and other map-related publications of the Philip Lee Phillips Society.

Throughout almost all of her career she was active in union work for the Library’s professional guild, AFSCME Local 2910. She served as Chief Negotiator and as a Steward, but took equal satisfaction in representing individuals who had, unjustly in some cases, fallen afoul of the Library’s rules and disciplinary system.

Her professional accomplishments include a number of important publications, most notably including the definitive guide “Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750 – 1789: A Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress” (with John R. Sellers, 1981). Pam also played a significant role in the creation of “American Women: A Library of Congress Guide for the Study of Women’s History and Culture in the United States” (2001); this work also contains two of her original essays. Her first scholarly work appeared in the William and Mary Quarterly in April 1971: “Population and Social Patterns in Barbados in the Early Eighteenth Century.”

She was a past presenter at the WMS (January 11, 2001), and a summary of her meeting presentation appeared in The Portolan Issue 50 (Spring 2001) – “Conservation from the Curator’s and Collector’s Point of View.”

Pam was also active as an expert consultant for the Boston Public Library’s Norman B. Leventhal Map and Education Center, serving on the Center’s Board of Review. In addition, she was for many years on the Map Fair Advisory Committee of the History Miami Museum.

Her extracurricular accomplishments featured a love of horses and equestrian sports, including show hunters and the demanding sport of eventing. In these fields she competed successfully, winning numerous ribbons on her beloved horse “Chico.” In her youth she was a competitive swimmer and swimming instructor in California.

Pam is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 48 years, Daun van Ee, as well as her sister, Sandra Arcara; her brother, Philip Molen; and her nephew, Andrew Molen.