Richard Ovenden is Bodley’s Librarian, the 25th person to hold the title, which is the senior executive position of the Bodleian Libraries. His previous roles include positions at the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland and at the University of Edinburgh, where he was Director of Collections, responsible for integrating the Library, the University Museums and Art Gallery.
In 2003 he became Keeper of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts, followed by Associate Director, and latterly (from 2011) Deputy Librarian, at the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford. At the Bodleian he is also Director of the Bodleian's Centre for the Study of the Book and holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College.
He is professionally active in the sphere of libraries, archives and information science, being a member of the Board of the Legal Deposit Libraries, the Expert Panel of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, and held the Chairmanship of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) 2009-13. He is a Trustee of Chawton House Library, the Kraszna Kraus Foundation, and sits on the Advisory Panel for Libraries and Archives of the Church of England. Richard is author of John Thomson (1837–1921): Photographer (1997), a major study of the Scottish photographer, and writes on the history of libraries, the history of the book, and the history of photography.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.