Richard Ovenden

Richard Ovenden has been Bodley’s Librarian (the senior Executive position of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) since 2014.

His keynote speech at LIBER 2019 is entitled ‘Bits and votes: The role of libraries and archives in open societies’, and will consider the role that libraries play in preserving knowledge and in making it available in the context of the attacks on open society.

The talk will look at historic and contemporary threats to knowledge, and the motivations of those that seek to destroy knowledge or restrict access. It will look in particular at the steps being taken by the library and archive community on the front line of preserving and sharing knowledge in defence of open societies.

More about Richard Ovenden

Prior to his role as Bodley’s Librarian, Richard 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.

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 professional concerns of library and information management, and is writing a history of the deliberate destruction of knowledge to be published in 2020.

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