The Trustees of the Library Company are delighted to announce that Richard S. Newman has been appointed to succeed John C. Van Horne as the Edwin Wolf 2nd Director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. A distinguished historian with research specialties in Early American, African American, and Environmental History, as well as Print Culture and New Media, Dr. Newman has a long association with the Library Company, beginning with the award of a research fellowship in 1995. We believe Dr. Newman has the rare combination of scholarly authority, commitment to public engagement, and passion for our mission that will enable him to bring the Library Company to new prominence.
Currently Professor of History at Rochester Institute of Technology, Dr. Newman is the author or editor of five books----including The Transformation of American Abolitionism, a finalist for the Organization of American Historians' Avery Craven Prize; Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers; and Love Canal and the American Dream: 500 Years at America's Most Notorious Environmental Place, forthcoming from Oxford University Press----and numerous scholarly articles. He is also co-editor of the book series "Race in the Atlantic World, 1700-1900," published by the University of Georgia Press and the Library Company.
As an educational and museum consultant over the past decade, Dr. Newman has worked with research archives, public history sites, and teacher training programs on a variety of outreach initiatives. He is committed to exploring ways that the Library Company can use its collections to empower people in their civic lives and careers while at the same time continuing to foster the best in current scholarship----and he sees this as a vital way to connect the institution with Benjamin Franklin's founding ambitions for the nation's first successful lending library and now its oldest cultural institution.
Dr. Newman will begin in his new role in June 2014.