Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

The Bodleian Libraries are pleased to announce the election of Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian and Head of Gardens, Libraries and Museums, to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Richard Ovenden has held the position of Bodley’s Librarian since 2014 and became Director of Gardens, Libraries and Museums at the University of Oxford in 2022. He has worked extensively across the world of libraries, archives and information management, and is widely known for his award-winning book Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge under Attack (2020) 

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1780, and honours excellence in leaders from every field of work and research. The goal of the Academy is to convene people at the pinnacle of their fields to examine new ideas, and work together to address issues of importance to every nation around the world. 

With previous notable members including John F Kennedy, Alexander Graham Bell and Martin Luther King Jr, the work of the academy has helped set the direction of research in science and technology policy, global security and education. Richard Ovenden joins the ranks of several new members elected this year, including writer and 2022 recipient of the Bodley Medal, Zadie Smith. 

Of the members' election, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors Nancy C. Andrews said:

In its earliest days, the Academy sought members who would help address issues and opportunities confronting a young nation. We feel a similar urgency and have elected a class that brings diverse expertise to meet the pressing challenges and possibilities that America and the world face today.

Find out more about Richard Ovenden and the Bodleian Libraries.