John M. Unsworth

Dean of Libraries

The University of Virginia recently appointed John M. Unsworth as university librarian and dean of libraries, and professor of English. Coming from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, where he served as vice provost, university librarian, chief information officer, and professor of English, Unsworth began his tenure at the UVA Library in June.

Unsworth's appointment is actually a homecoming—he received a PhD in English from the University in 1988, and later became a tenured professor of English at UVA, as well as the first director of UVA’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH).

Before serving at Brandeis, Unsworth was dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There he also held faculty appointments in library and information science, English, and library administration. His first faculty appointment, in the late 1980s, was as an assistant professor of English at North Carolina State University.

In addition to his PhD from UVA, Unsworth graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Amherst College in 1981 and a Master of Arts degree in English from Boston University in 1982. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of digital humanities, Unsworth received the 2005 Richard W. Lyman Award from the National Humanities Center, and was nominated by President Obama to the National Humanities Council in 2012. He was also the co-founder of the first peer-reviewed electronic journal in the humanities, Postmodern Culture, and has published extensively on the subject of electronic scholarship.

Unsworth will serve as the University's 15th university librarian. More about his appointment can be read here: