Hotchkiss Begins Duties as Rare Book and Special Collections Librarian
Valerie Hotchkiss, respected rare books librarian and scholar, has assumed leadership of the Rare Book and Special Collections Library. She arrived on campus August 1, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in libraries and librarianship. Previously, she served as the J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Librarian and professor of medieval studies at Southern Methodist University. Her appointment at Illinois includes a professorship in library administration as well as medieval studies.
“Dr. Hotchkiss brings the right blend of tradition, innovation, and technology experience to enhance user services and raise awareness of the extraordinary holdings in our Rare Book and Special Collections Library,” explains Paula Kaufman, university librarian.
Hotchkiss directed the Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology for 12 years. Under her leadership, the library added more than $16 million to its endowment, renovated public spaces to improve access, and established a strong reputation among rare book and manuscript libraries.
Regarding her new position, Hotchkiss says, “I am eager to bring the Rare Book and Special Collections Library into a new and exciting phase of its development. My goal is to make the collections more accessible to the scholarly community and to improve the physical space and conditions in which the books are housed and used.”
Hotchkiss holds a bachelor’s degree in classical languages from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree in library science from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Ph.D. in medieval studies from Yale University. She has authored many works, published numerous articles, and edited more than 25 exhibition catalogs. Active in library circles, she has spoken on library development, the role of library administration in the book arts, and rare book acquisition at various conferences in the United States and abroad.
Adapted with permission
Andrea Lynn, U of I News Bureau, 6/1/05