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Director, William L. Clements Library Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan has named Paul Erickson the Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library. Dr. Erickson’s five-year appointment, approved Sept. 19 by the Board of Regents, is effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Dr. Erickson is currently the Program Director for Arts, Humanities & Culture and American Institutions, Society & the Public Good at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the AAAS, his responsibilities have included the launch of a national commission on the role of the arts in American life and a major research project on the practice of democratic citizenship. Previously, Erickson served as Director of Academic Programs with the American Antiquarian Society, a major independent research library that focuses on American history, literature, and culture from 1640 to 1877. In this capacity, he was responsible for all programs directed at academic audiences, including research fellowships, honors seminars for students from nearby colleges, conferences and symposia, and outreach to the scholarly community around the country. He also was responsible for raising funds from foundations, government agencies, and individuals to support these programs.

Erickson’s publications have included articles on the role of digital humanities in the future of the field and the business of books in 19th century America. He has given invited lectures and organized conferences on topics related to American culture in the 18th and 19th centuries. He is currently a member of the board of directors for the National Humanities Alliance, the advisory committee for C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and the working committee for the Early American Matters Caucus of the American Studies Association. He is a member of the nominations committee for the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.

Dr. Erickson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with general and special honors from the University of Chicago, and Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

In making this appointment, Provost Martin Philbert said Erickson “has a keen appreciation for how specialized libraries can contribute to scholarship and teaching in the 21st century. With scholarly expertise in American culture and a strong interest in connecting historical materials to contemporary questions in the humanities, he is the right person to lead the Clements Library as it approaches its 100th anniversary.”

Alan Wichlei led this search with Beverly Brady. 

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