May 18, 2022

Robert Darnton Stepping Down From Harvard University Librarian Position

From The Harvard Crimson:

Robert C. Darnton ’60, the Harvard University librarian and a University professor, will step down from his post in Wadsworth House on June 30 after an eight-year tenure at the helm of Harvard’s library system, which recently saw a move toward digitization.


“Things look good. Harvard Library I think is going through a very healthy stage, so I can retire feeling happy,” Darnton said.

He particularly looks to Vice President for the Library Sarah E. Thomas, who came to Harvard in 2013, as a key administrator in the library’s future. Thomas described her role as “setting strategy and priorities and policies” for Harvard’s libraries while, as University librarian, Thomas said Darnton served as a “scholar who has provided leadership for the library.”


One of Darnton’s biggest projects during his time as University librarian was the creation of the Digital Public Library of America, which aims to digitize and make publicly available much of the scholarly collections at Harvard and other universities. He called it the “greatest thing in which I’ve been involved” during his time at Harvard.

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See Also: More About Robert Darnton in a New Harvard Gazette Profile: “Robert Darnton Closes the Book”

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.