Remember, Remember: Libraries, Archives and the Social Importance of Preserving Knowledge

Sponsored by ProQuest, Part of Clarivate
Recorded on 10/24/2023

Posted in Library Leadership and Management

Learn strategies used by librarians and archivists to protect and preserve knowledge.


Join us for the 2023 Annual Register Edmund Burke Lecture, featuring Richard Ovenden, Director of Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, and author of the acclaimed book, Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge. In this thought-provoking webinar, journey through time to explore the enduring role of libraries as bastions of culture and knowledge, while also confronting the relentless threats they have faced. This session will explore and unravel the deliberate destruction and intricate motives behind a wide spectrum of events, ranging from the ancient Library of Alexandria to contemporary challenges in Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as the current surge in book banning and suppression of freedom of expression in the United States.

Providing insight into the captivating stories of librarians and archivists who have risked everything to protect history and memory, our speaker will demonstrate how libraries have transformed into societal pillars, bolstering the rule of law, inspiring citizens, and shaping our societies. Feel challenged to uphold libraries’ essential mission in nurturing educated societies, fostering diversity of thought, and aiding communities in understanding their past and celebrating their identities. This webinar will also provide strategies used by librarians and archivists in their mission to protect and preserve knowledge, so they can play a full part as essential infrastructure for democracy.


  • Image of Richard Ovenden

    Richard Ovenden

    Director of Bodleian LibrariesUniversity of Oxford

    Richard Ovenden has been Bodley’s Librarian (the senior Executive position of the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford) since 2014, and Head of Gardens, Libraries and Museums, since 2022. Prior to this he has held positions at Durham University Library, the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland, and the University of Edinburgh. He was educated at the University of Durham and University College London, and holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford, and was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019.

    Richard serves as President of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and as a member of the Board of the Council on Library and Information Resources (in Washington DC).  He holds Fellowships of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has been elected to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He writes extensively on libraries, archives and information management, and has published a monograph on the 19th century Scottish photographer John Thomson, co-edited the massive 17th century library catalogue of Samuel Jeake, and most recently is the author of Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge (2020) which was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week, and was shortlisted for the Wolfson History Prize in 2021. He writes regularly for the Financial Times.

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