Valerie Hotchkiss is the Andrew S. G. Turyn Endowed Professor and Director of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Over the past 20 years, she has led three libraries and has championed issues of access and public programming. She has implemented an integrated online library system, renovated facilities, and raised over $16 million for endowments. At the University of Illinois she has focused on making the collections more accessible through archival processing and cataloging projects. Hotchkiss is also deeply committed to furthering the profession and training new special collections librarians.
To this end, she is the founding director of the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies Program, a certificate program within the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois. She is also passionate about public engagement in special collections libraries and has organized lecture series, workshops, international exhibitions, friends groups, book collecting contests, and other cultural events to attract visitors, students, and researchers to special collections libraries.
In addition to leading The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Hotchkiss serves as Professor of Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Library Science. She has a B.A. in Classics, the M.L.S. degree, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She is the author of numerous books and articles on medieval cultural history, women's studies, and topics in the history of books and printing. Her books include: Clothes Make the Man: Female Cross Dressing in Medieval Europe (1996/2000); English in Print from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton (2008, with Fred Robinson) and Miracle within a Miracle: Johannes Reuchlin and the Jewish Book Controversy (2011, with David Price).