Campus & Community

Marilyn Dunn named Schlesinger Library executive director and Radcliffe Institute librarian

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Will combine 'passions for librarianship and women's history'

The Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has announced the appointment of Marilyn Dunn as the new executive director of the library and Radcliffe Institute librarian. She will assume her duties on July 18. Currently the college librarian and director of information resources at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., Dunn brings to the position a demonstrated commitment to women’s studies. In addition, she has extensive managerial and leadership experience, familiarity with special collections and archives, strong knowledge of digital resource best practices, a track record of public service, and through consortium participation, lively awareness of the challenges facing libraries of varying sizes and purposes.

“Marilyn Dunn brings just the combination of personal talents and professional experience we were looking for,” says Nancy F. Cott, Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the library and Jonathan Trumbull Professor of American History in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “She is knowledgeable in all aspects of library operations, forward-looking, and an effective manager. I expect her dual position as Radcliffe Institute librarian and executive director of the Schlesinger Library to allow her leadership qualities to blossom.”

Dunn began her career at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., first as circulation supervisor, then circulation librarian, and ultimately as librarian for public services. In 1997, she became college librarian and director of information resources at Hartwick College, taking on a much broader spectrum of responsibilities. While at Hartwick, she began participating at the national level in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, serving on that organization’s College Library Section Board and Women’s Studies Section Board. She is currently the president of the board of trustees of the South Central Research.

She was the editor of the Women’s Studies Section Newsletter from 1998 to 2000, and recently co-edited a special issue of Phoebe, Journal of Gender and Cultural Critique. During a fall sabbatical leave in 1996, Dunn worked as a Yale Divinity School Research Fellow on Matrix, a scholarly resource for the study of religious women from 500 – 1500 C.E., an electronic reference work that has been acknowledged as a model for scholarly digital projects. Dunn served as managing editor, editor, and now contributing editor to that ongoing project. In 2001, Dunn’s many contributions to the profession in the area of women’s studies were recognized by the ACRL and Routledge Press with an Award for Significant Contributions to Scholarship in Women’s Studies Librarianship.

Dunn completed a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., followed by a master’s degree in library and information science from Simmons College in Boston, Mass. She later earned a master’s in English literature from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “I am pleased to have this opportunity to work with the talented staff of the Schlesinger Library and its distinguished collection. The Schlesinger will allow me to combine my passions for librarianship and women’s history, and I am eager to contribute to an institution that advances scholarship on women and gender studies,” said Dunn.