Richard Ovenden

Richard Ovenden

BA Durh, MA DipLib Lond, FRSA, FSA
Bodley’s Librarian and Professorial Fellow

Richard Ovenden is Bodley’s Librarian. His previous roles include positions at the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland, and 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. He was appointed to the Librarianship in 2014. At the Bodleian he is also Director of the Bodleian’s Centre for the Study of the Book. 

He is professionally active in the sphere of libraries, archives and information science, being a member of the Board of the Legal Deposit Libraries and the Board of Research Libraries UK, and Treasurer of the Consortium of European Research Libraries. He is currently President of the Digital Preservation Coalition. He is a Trustee of Chawton House Library, Photography Oxford, and the Kraszna Kraus Foundation. 

Richard is author of John Thomson (1837–1921): Photographer (1997), a major study of the Scottish photographer, and co-author of A Radical’s Books: The Library Catalogue of Samuel Jeake of Rye (1623-1690) (1999) (with Michael Hunter, Giles Mandelbrote and Nigel Smith) 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 of the Society of Antiquaries. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2015.