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David Sullivan: Libraries’ Humanities Collections Coordinator
February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23



David Sullivan joined the Penn Libraries as the Coordinator of Humanities Collections, effective February 16, 2009.  Mr. Sullivan is responsible for guiding the Libraries’ collection activities and budgets in the humanities in partnership with Penn’s subject librarians. He will have primary liaison responsibility to Penn’s programs in Classics, Comparative Literature, European and world history, and French and Italian Studies. 

Serving as the Classics Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley since 2000, Mr. Sullivan led the Library’s Arts and Humanities Council from 2006-2008. His scholarly interests include the history of philology, the arts of the printed and manuscript book, and the interplay among digital and earlier technologies of scholarly communication. Mr. Sullivan has published book-length translations from French (Veyne, Seneca, Life of a Stoic, Routledge 2003), Italian (Fontana, Della Trasportatione dell’Obelisco Vaticano, Octavo, 2000) and Latin (Mercator, Atlas, sive de Cosmographia mundi, Octavo, 2001). Perhaps most noteworthy is his revision of the standard English translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible, issued to accompany the digital facsimile edition (Octavo, 2003) of the Library of Congress’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible. 

A founding member of the American Philological Association’s Forum for Classics, Librarians and Scholarly Communication, Mr. Sullivan headed a working group to recommend improvements to the standard online bibliography for classical philology. This work resulted in major grant funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Nationally, Mr. Sullivan organized a standing committee of Fine Arts and Classics bibliographers within the Art Libraries Society of North America, chairing panels and presenting talks at a number of their international conferences.

Mr. Sullivan earned his AB summa cum laude in Classics from Pomona College. As the inaugural T.B.L. Webster Fellow at Stanford University, he studied Greek papyrology and medieval Greek paleography at the Institute of Classical Studies in London. He has taught Greek and Latin languages and literature at Stanford and as the Taylor Lecturer at Colby College, Maine.

Mr. Sullivan joined the Stanford University Libraries as assistant to the director of collections in 1983. During a 13-year career there, he earned his MLIS from the School of Library Science at UC-Berkeley. At Stanford, he was Classics Bibliographer, Selector for French Studies, Rare Books Librarian, and Head of Technical Services in the Department of Special Collections. In the last-named position, he supervised processing of the papers of poets Denise Levertov, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Creeley, and of the archives of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Of Mr. Sullivan’s appointment, Vice Provost and Director of Penn Libraries, Carton Rogers, remarked, “We are very pleased to have been able to recruit such a talented scholar and experienced librarian.”


Almanac - February 24, 2009, Volume 55, No. 23