Reginald Philip Carr

1946 –

Reg Carr was Director of Oxford University Library Services and Bodley’s Librarian from January 1997 until he took early retirement on 31 December 2006.

Prior to coming to Oxford, he held university library posts in Manchester (Assistant Librarian), Surrey (Sub-Librarian), Aston in Birmingham (Deputy Librarian), Cambridge (Deputy Librarian), and Leeds (University Librarian and Dean of Information Strategy).

During his ten years at Oxford, he was responsible for integrating the University’s centrally-funded libraries into a single new organisation, the Bodleian Libraries (previously Oxford University Library Services). He also established the Oxford Digital Library, helped to extend Oxford’s legal deposit status to include electronic materials, and acquired numerous important additions for the Bodleian Library’s collections of primary research materials. In addition, he oversaw a major program of construction, renovation, and rationalisation of library buildings and fronted a major capital campaign.  He was also Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, 1997-2006.

A modern linguist by training, Reg Carr holds degrees from the Universities of Leeds (BA), Manchester (MA), Cambridge (MA), Oxford (MA), and Leicester (Hon D Litt). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; a member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals; and an Honorary Citizen of Toyota City, Japan. From 1986 to 1997 he was a Director of the Consortium of University Research Libraries (CURL), which he served as Honorary Secretary from 1991 to 1997. He was a Council Member of the Standing Conference of National and University Libraries (SCONUL) from 1990 to 1996, serving as Vice-Chair, then Chair, from 1992 to 1996. He was an elected Board Member of the North American Research Libraries Group (RLG) between 1996 and 2003, and served as the consortium’s first non-North American Chairman from 1999 to 2003.

From 1997 to 2005 he was a Board Member of the UK’s Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), during which time he served as Chair of the JISC’s Committee on Electronic Information (CEI), presiding over the nationally-funded Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) and the development of the UK’s Distributed National Electronic Resource (the DNER). He served also as Chair of the JISC’s Scholarly Communications Group from 2000 to 2006. In 2000, he was a founding Director of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and served as Vice-Chair until 2005.

In 1987, he co-authored a textbook on university library administration, and he has continued to publish widely on professional issues as diverse as the early 20th-century private press movement, the future of the printed book, the development of the Hybrid Library, digital preservation, security in older library buildings, library fundraising, and the Google mass-digitisation programme.

In 2007, he published a book reflecting his most recent experiences in the academic library world: The Academic Research Library in a Decade of Change. He also continues to research and publish on the French writer Octave Mirbeau.

In retirement he continues as a Member of the Council of Management of the Friends of the Bodleian, as a Trustee of the Chawton House Library and Conference Centre (Hampshire), and as a Member of the Visiting Committee for the Harvard University Library.

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