Oxford Library 700 Conference
16-18 September 2020

Bodleian Libraries


Alexander Bevilacqua, Assistant Professor of History, Williams College

Portrait of Alexander BevilacquaAlexander Bevilacqua is assistant professor of history at Williams College. A graduate of Harvard, Cambridge, and Princeton, he is the author of The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment (Harvard 2018, paperback 2020), with translations in Arabic, Italian, and Turkish available or forthcoming. His current research reconstructs the emergence of global historical writing during the early centuries of European expansion.

Sandra Collins, National Librarian of Ireland

Portrait of Dr Sandra CollinsDr Sandra Collins was appointed as Director of the National Library of Ireland in 2015. Originally a mathematician, Sandra has worked in digital innovation and cultural heritage over 25 years in the public and private sectors.

She was the founding Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland in the Royal Irish Academy and is a member of the Executive of the Conference of European National Librarians. She is a member of the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, and the Boards of the Chester Beatty, Irish Manuscripts Commission and the Irish Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL).

Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor, Emeritus, University Librarian, Harvard University

Robert DarntonRobert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Harvard University Librarian, Emeritus, was educated at Harvard University (A.B. 1960) and Oxford University (B.Phil. 1962, D. Phil. 1964), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He taught at Princeton University from 1968 until 2007 and at Harvard until his retirement in 2015. The last of his many books on cultural history are Censors at Work: How States Shaped Literature (2014), A Literary Tour de France: the World of Books on the Eve of the French Revolution (2018), and Pirating and Publishing in the Age of Enlightenment (to be published in 2021).

David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

Portrait of David FerrieroDavid S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009. Created in 1934, the National Archivesand records Administration (NARA) is responsible for preserving and providing access to the records of the U.S. Government NARA has 42 facilities across the country, including 14 Presidential Libraries, containing approximately 15 billion pages of textual records; 44 million photographs; miles and miles of film and video; and an ever increasing number of electronic records.

Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mello Director of the New York Public Libraries and held top library positions at the Massachusetts Insititute of Technology and Duke University.

Mr Ferriero earned bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from Northeastern University and a master's degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science.

Stephen H Friend, Visiting Professor of Connected Medicine, University of Oxford, and President, 4YouandMe

Portrait of Stephen H FriendStephen has pursued the fields of genetic resilience, cancer biology, digital health and the return of human agency. At Dana Farber and MIT his team cloned the first human cancer susceptibility gene. While on the Faculty at Harvard, he was jointly recruited with Lee Hartwell to co-found "The Seattle Project” at the Hutch and then co-founded and led "Rosetta Impharmatics" were they developed the RNA expression approaches to assess the aggressiveness of breast cancers. Merck acquired Rosetta and he joined as SVP for Oncology. In 2009 he founded "Sage Bionetworks' a nonprofit to nourish researchers sharing data and insights. After working at Apple from 2014-2017 on digital health, he is now a co-founder and President of “4YouandMe", and he is based at Oxford as a Visiting Professor of Connected Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry. Current projects anticipate individuals following their clinical symptoms at times of metamorphosis using wearable devices uncoupled from companies that often are more interested in how they can use that information for commercial benefit. Stephen is both an Ashoka fellow and a AAAS Fellow.

Jessica Gardner, University Librarian, Cambridge University

Portrait of Jessica GardnerDr Jessica Gardner is University Librarian and Director of Library Services at the University of Cambridge. She joined Cambridge in 2017 from her former role as Director of Library Services & University Librarian at the University of Bristol. Jessica previously worked at the University of Exeter, initially as Head of Special Collections and later as Head of Library and Culture Services. She started her academic and library career at the University of Leeds, where Jessica researched her doctorate in modern literary papers. Jessica is the Vice-Chair of Research Libraries UK, a Syndic of Cambridge University Press, and a member of the Legal Deposit Librarians Committee for UK and Ireland. She is also a Trustee of the Friends of the National Libraries, Sir Winston Churchill Archive Trust and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Tom Beaumont James MBE, Professor Emeritus, University of Winchester

Portrait of Tom JamesProfessor James MBE, PhD, FSA studied at St Andrews University and taught at the University of Winchester. A Friend of the Bodleian, he is currently working on aspects of the life of Bodley’s first librarian Thomas James (1572/3-1629) to celebrate the Librarian’s retirement from his post 400 years ago in 1620.

He wrote a history of Britain and Ireland 1066-1901 to accompany recordings of This Scepter’d Isle, and has published a Story of England. An expert on medieval palaces and the Black Death pandemic he has published widely in journals and was part of the editorial teams for Medieval Archaeology and The Antiquaries’ Journal. He wrote the English Heritage book of Winchester:Prehistory to the Present. Broad brush surveys of landscape, an ancient city and Britain and Ireland have been accompanied by more detailed and specialist publications.

He has worked on the conservation and presentation of the medieval royal palace and landscape of Clarendon, Wiltshire for over 40 years. helping to establish a group of Friends who work to keep the site in good order. Clarendon Palace (Society of Antiquaries/Thames and Hudson 1988 with Annie Robinson ), and Clarendon: Landscape of Kings (2007 with Christopher Gerrard) have resulted from this work. Recent excavations are being prepared for publication.

He has lectured widely in the UK and also in Europe, Australia, Russia, and the USA.

Eric Klinenberg, Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences, Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University

Portrait of Eric KlinenbergEric Klinenberg is Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences and Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He's the bestselling author of several books, including Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life; Going Solo; Fighting for Air; and Heat Wave; and he's currently writing 2020: A Social Autopsy. He has contributed to the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, Le Monde Diplomatique, and This American Life. Talk title: The Library as Social Infrastructure

Clifford Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

Portrait of Clifford LynchClifford Lynch has led the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) since 1997. CNI, jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and EDUCAUSE, includes about 200 member organizations concerned with the intelligent uses of information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual life.

CNI’s wide-ranging agenda includes work in digital preservation, data intensive scholarship, teaching, learning and technology, and infrastructure and standards development. Prior to joining CNI, Lynch spent 18 years at the University of California Office of the President, the last 10 as Director of Library Automation. Lynch, who holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, is an adjunct professor at Berkeley’s School of Information.

He is both a past president and recipient of the Award of Merit of the American Society for Information Science, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the National Information Standards Organization. He served as co-chair of the National Academies Board on Research Data and Information from 2011-2016; he is active on numerous advisory boards and visiting committees, notably the National Academies Committee on Forecasting Costs for Preserving, Archiving and Promoting Access to Biomedical Data. His work has been recognized by the American Library Association’s Lippincott Award, the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award in Public Policy and Practice, and the American Society for Engineering Education’s Homer Bernhardt Award.

Alberto Manguel, writer and former National Librarian of Argentina

Portrait of Alberto ManguelAlberto Manguel is an Argentinian-Canadian writer, translator, editor and critic, born in Buenos Aires in 1948. He has published several novels, and non-fiction, including Packing My Library, Curiosity, With Borges, A History of Reading, The Library at Night, Fabulous Monsters and (together with Gianni Guadalupi) The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. He has received numerous international awards, among others the Guggenheim in 2004, Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters from France in 2014, the Formentor Prize and the Alfonso Reyes Prize in 2017, the Gutenberg Prize 2018 and Officer of the Order of Canada 2018. He is doctor honoris causa of the universities of Ottawa and York in Canada, and Liège in Belgium and Anglo Ruskin in Cambridge, UK. Until August of 2018 he was the director of the National Library of Argentina.

Buhle Mbambo-Thata, University Librarian, National University of Lesotho

Portrait of Dr Buhle Mbambo-ThataDr Buhle Mbambo-Thata is the University Librarian of the National University of Lesotho. Prior to that she was the Director- Resources Development of the African Library and Information Association and Institutions (AfLIA). She previously served as Executive Director of Library Services at the University of South Africa from 2006 until December 2016. She served as University Librarian at the University of Zimbabwe from 2001 until 2006. She is member of the Board of Directors of the National Library of South Africa NLSA), Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and African Journals Online (AJOL). Dr Mbambo-Thata has served as Governing Board member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). She was a member of the Strategic Advisory Network of the Global Libraries Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has previously served on various committee affiliations including the Library Network of the Association of Commonwealth Libraries, the E-Knowledge Society for Women in Southern Africa (of which she was chairperson), the advisory committees of EIFL Found.net, 2004-2007; the Gender in Africa Information Network 1996-2001 and the Access to Learning Award of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her research interests are in women and ICT, ICT applications in libraries. She is passionate about Library development generally, and in Africa in particular.

Richard Ovenden OBE, Bodley’s Librarian

Portrait of Richard OvendedRichard Ovenden has been Bodley’s Librarian (the senior Executive position of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) since 2014. Prior to that he held positions at Durham University Library, the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh. He moved to the Bodleian in 2003 as Keeper of Special Collections, becoming Deputy Librarian in 2011. He was educated at the University of Durham and University College London, and holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Society of Arts, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. He was made OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019.

Richard serves as Treasurer of the Consortium of European Research Libraries, as President of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and as a member of the Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (in Washington DC). He has written extensively on the history of the book, on the history of photography, and on current concerns in the library, archive and information worlds.

John Thomson (1837-1921): Photographer (1997) A Radical’s Books (with Michael Hunter, Giles Mandelbrote, and Nigel Smith) (1999) Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack (2020)

Nilanjana S. Roy, novelist, columnist, and former editor

Portrait of Nilanjana S RoyNilanjana S Roy is a novelist, columnist and former editor, author of The Wildings, The Hundred Names of Darkness, and The Girl Who Ate Books. She writes a regular column for the Financial Times, has contributed to the New York Times, the BBC and the New York Review of Books, is a founding member of PEN Delhi, and spent time tracking pavement libraries during the recent citizens' protests in New Delhi.

David Rundle, Lecturer in Latin and Palaeography, Centre of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Kent

Portrait of David RundleDavid Rundle is Lecturer in Latin and Palaeography in the Centre of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at the University of Kent. He is an intellectual and cultural historian, studying the movement of ideas across Europe in the later middle ages and the early modern period. He is author of The Renaissance Reform of the Book and Britain. The English Quattrocento (Cambridge, 2019) and is working, with Ralph Hanna, on the catalogue of the manuscripts of Magdalen College, Oxford. He has a special interest in the book collection of Humfrey, duke of Gloucester.

Marina Rustow, Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in Near East, Director of the Princeton Geniza Lab, Princeton University

Portrait of Marina RustowMarina Rustow is the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in Near East at Princeton University and director of the Princeton Geniza Lab, which brings students and specialists together to decipher and digitize medieval documentary sources in Hebrew and Arabic script. She is the author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008), and The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue (2020). She was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2015.

Mark Thompson, Former CEO, New York Times, former Director General, BBC

Mark ThompsonMark Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company in November 2012. He has directed the Company’s strategy and presided over an expansion of its digital and global operations. Under his leadership, digital subscriptions have grown from 500,000 to more than five million and the Company set a goal to reach 10 million total subscriptions by 2025.

The Times has successfully expanded into other digital products like Cooking and Crosswords, has launched one of the world’s most successful podcasts and recently premiered “The Weekly”, a new TV news program for FX and Hulu.

Previously, he served as Director-General of the BBC. He joined the BBC in 1979. He left for two years in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television in the UK before returning in 2004 as Director-General. His book, “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?” was published in the UK and US in September 2016.

Mark Thompson was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford.

Shoshana Zuboff, author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Professor Emerita Harvard Business School

Shoshana ZuboffSHOSHANA ZUBOFF is the author of three books, each of which signaled the start of a new epoch in technological society. In the late 1980s her decade-in-the-making In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power became an instant classic that foresaw how computers would revolutionize the modern workplace. At the dawn of the twenty-first century her influential The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism (with James Maxmin), written before the invention of the iPod or Uber, predicted the rise of digitally-mediated products and services tailored to the individual. It warned of the individual and societal risks if companies failed to alter their approach to capitalism. Now her masterwork, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, synthesizes years of research and thinking in order to reveal a world in which technology users are neither customers, employees, nor products. Instead they are the raw material for new procedures of manufacturing and sales that define an entirely new economic order: a surveillance economy. She is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School and a former Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.