Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Daemons ask Bodley's Librarian!

We are thrilled to present this Q&A with Richard Ovenden!  He is the current librarian at the Bodleian of Oxford University.  Ever since the beginning of our All Souls adventures, we've been fascinated with the Oxford and the Bodleian in particular (as we are sure many of you are!)  Mr. Ovenden is the 25th Librarian in the history of the Bodleian.  You can see the full list of librarians here: Bodleian Librarians.

Richard Ovenden, Bodleian Librarian.
BiographyRichard Ovenden is Bodley's Librarian, the 25th person to hold the title, which is the senior executive position of the Bodleian Libraries. Richard was educated at Durham University and University College London, and has worked as a professional librarian since 1985. He has served on the staff of Durham University Library, the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland (as Deputy Head of the Rare Books Section), the University of Edinburgh (as Director of Collections), and since 2003 at the Bodleian Libraries (first as Keeper of Special Collections, from 2011-2014 as Deputy Librarian, the Bodleian Libraries, then from 2014 as Bodley’s Librarian).

Richard sits on the Board of Research Libraries UK and of the Consortium of European Research Libraries, is a Trustee of the Krazsna Kraus Foundation, of Chawton House Library, and of the Victoria County History for Oxfordshire, and is currently President of the Digital Preservation Coalition. He has published widely on the history of collecting, the history of photography and on professional concerns of the library, archive, and information world, and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2015. Recently Richard headed Oxford’s involvement with the Google mass digitization project. He holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford.

Thank you, Mr. Ovenden for taking time out of your busy day to answer our questions!

We did say in Issue 6 of our recap series we were going to do outreach within the orbit of the All Souls Universe; subjects, places and people.  We have more coming in the future, so stay tuned for that. :)

Continue to feed your inner daemons!   Keep wandering into to the world of madness that allows one to be curious, create, think, imagine, and explore different ideas and concepts freely.

Until next time,

P.S. Here is a video published in 2013 (Mr. Ovenden was the deputy librarian at the time.)  Inside the Bodleian: Building a 21st Century Library; it's a fascinating look at the Bodleian, and the the task of meeting new demands in today's digital age.

Video by The University of Oxford

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