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Founded in 2021 by Stephen Kroll Reidy ’72, the fund supported the digitization of thousands of materials – a fitting initiative for the woman who shepherded one of the world’s largest publishing houses into the digital age.

To honor her dedication to making literature accessible, the Carolyn Kroll Reidy ‘71 Archival Digitization Fund at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences has made accessible online through the Internet Archive:

  • 11,397 photos,
  • 3,238 text pages, and
  • 2,012 audio and video recordings

for a grand total of 13,409 items that chronicle the history of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Carolyn Kroll Reidy graduated from Middlebury with a degree in English in 1971. During her time as a student, she worked as a staff writer, circulation manager, news editor of The Campus newspaper. After graduation, she pursued her PhD in English from Indiana University before moving from academia into publishing, embracing what she described as “the change from studying writing to helping new works find their audience.” 

portrait of Carolyn Kroll Reidy in 1967 New Faces publication
Carolyn Kroll Reidy ‘71 in 1967 New Faces publication 

With Reidy at the helm, Simon & Schuster prevailed through the 2008 recession and embraced e-publishing at a critical time for the company. She led the digitization of Simon & Schuster’s backlist and championed Pulitzer Prize-winning authors while overseeing every aspect of the publication process.

In addition to numerous accolades and awards for her achievements in publishing, Reidy was honored with an Alumni Achievement Award at her 45th Middlebury reunion in 2016. In her acceptance speech, she remarked, “For as long as I’ve been in the business, doomsayers have been predicting the demise of publishing. Each time, we have weathered these changes. […] An ebook is just a format, a delivery system. What matters always is the content.”

Now researchers, Bread Loafers, and anyone with an Internet connection can access these archival materials and experience the history of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conferences, in preparation for the 2025 centennial celebration. 

Tracy K. Smith reading, 2004

Pulitzer Prize winner and 2017-2019 Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith reads at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference 2004. 
View more Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference videos.