Michael E. Marotta submitted this item following up on our discussion of numismatic author Walter Breen's education.
In The E-Sylum v12 n49 Leon Saryan suggested: "It should be possible to contact the registrar and make an inquiry about Breen's record." I do not know that that is true. My understanding of FERPA (Family Educational Reporting Privacy Act) plus attempts of my own, all point in the opposite direction.
Working on a master's myself in social science, I had a professor who was so inept that several of us attempted to validate that person's credentials. We failed. Though we had the dates of attendances and degrees from a curriculum vitae, the institutions refused to answer even that a degree was ever granted. You must have written permission from the subject to view the records ... and with dead people, that can be difficult.
Also, I noticed that nearly every citation about Breen repeats the same phrase, "... earning his Master's degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1966. ..."
However, I did find this:
Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context by Vern L. Bullough, RN, PhD. Binghamton, New York: Hayworth Press, 2002. Page 313-314:
"He later completed the premedical course at Columbia and went on to complete a master's degree at University of California, Berkeley, in 1966, producing a thesis on "The Changing Social Status of the Musician." He was an accomplished pianist and an acknowledged expert on medieval and baroque music.
"It is one of his specialized books, Dies and Coinage, published in 1962 by Robert Bashlow, which provides a link to our topic here. Breen and Bashlow shared more interests than numismatics; both had an interest in younger males." (The rest of the paragraph deviates from numismatics entirely.)
Was Breen's master's degree in music or in sociology or something else?
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
MORE ON WALTER BREEN AT JOHNS HOPKINS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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