Ben Albritton appointed Rare Book Curator

May 2, 2019
Robert G Trujillo
Ben Albritton

Dr. Benjamin L. Albritton appointed as Rare Book Curator for Special Collections with the Stanford Libraries.

The Department of Special Collections of Stanford Libraries has appointed Dr. Ben L. Albritton as its Rare Book Curator.  He will begin his new assignment June 16, 2019.

Stanford Libraries rare book collection is extensive with an estimated size in excess of 265,000 titles.  The Rare Books Division of the Department acquires antiquarian and modern titles both for intellectual content and as historical artifacts.  Materials are collected broadly, in subject areas across the humanities and sciences, and in a wide variety of languages. Collections at Stanford are developed to strengthen our holdings, strengthen holdings specifically related to current faculty research and teaching, and for works relevant to current and future curriculum. Ben Albritton will be joining the Special Collections program at a time of renewed interest in the history of printing and the history of the book and at a time when new technologies can allow for access to collections that Stanford would otherwise never be able to acquire.  Ben brings to this position a technical aptitude and depth of knowledge that is most welcome, and unique.

To be sure, Ben is not new to either the Stanford Libraries or Special Collections and has served in a variety of roles since coming to SUL in 2009, including serving as Digital Manuscript Specialist with DLSS (Digital Library Systems and Services), a Digital Medieval Projects Manager and Accessioning Service Manager within DLSS, and as the Associate Curator for Paleography and Digital Medieval Materials within Special Collections.

Ben is currently the Digital Manuscripts Program Manager with the Stanford Libraries where he oversees a number of digital manuscript projects, including Parker Library on the Web, Stanford University's collection of digitized medieval manuscripts, and a number of projects devoted to interoperability and improving access to manuscript images for pedagogical and research purposes.  Notably, Ben has been working on “Web Thematic Pathways of Medieval Manuscripts from the Vatican Collections using International Image Interoperability Framework” as the project manager for a three-year collaboration between Stanford Libraries and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana to facilitate digital exposure of Vatican manuscript collections.

Ben received his Ph.D. in Music History from the University of Washington, Seattle; his M.A. in Music History from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver; and his B.A. In Literature from Yale University, New Haven.  Ben was a project assistant for the Parker on the Web digitization project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation with Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (UK).  His research interests include the intersection of words and music in the fourteenth century, primarily in the monophonic works of Guillaume de Machaut; the uses of digital medieval resources in scholarly communication; and transmission models in the later Middle Ages.

In addition to his academic training, Ben brings a wealth of teaching experience to the position, having served as a teaching assistant and instructor for the Division of Music History at the University of Washington and teaching extensively at Stanford (2016-Present) for The Digital Middle Ages (a requirement for Medieval Minor and Digital Humanities Minor students). Ben has led workshops focused on the use of digitized manuscripts, including the upcoming “Interoperability and Medieval Manuscripts: A Digital Humanities Workshop” co-sponsored by the Medieval Academy of America and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and presented at a variety of conferences.

Ben is on the advisory board for several digital humanities projects related to the history of the book; has served in a variety of leadership roles for the International Image Interoperability Framework, including as the Founding Chair of the IIIF Manuscripts Community Group; is on the Editorial Board for Stanford Text Technologies (SU Press) and for the Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Culture; and participates in a variety of medieval professional organizations.

Please join me in welcoming Ben to his new role in the Department of Special Collections & University Archives.  Ben’s new office will be in the Green Library, Bing Wing, Special Collections Suite 220.

Roberto G. Trujillo
Associate University Librarian &
Director of Special Collections