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Jennifer Gunter King named BU’s Associate University Librarian for Special Collections

March 12th, 2024

Portrait photograph of Jennifer King, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections.The Boston University Libraries have named Jennifer Gunter King the university’s Associate University Librarian for Special Collections. Directly overseeing the Libraries’ Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center and its new digital initiatives program and facility, Digital Ventures, King will implement a cohesive strategy to advance access, discovery, and preservation of the University’s distinctive collections and expand the global reach of its impactful research. King, who currently serves as the Director of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University, will start in this newly established role on April 1.

“The BU Libraries are transforming how we create, preserve, and supply access to the University’s rich holdings in both physical and digital formats. Jennifer’s strategic vision and expertise will contribute greatly to our ambitious agenda to curate enduring special collections and to meaningfully engage scholars across the global research community,” said Mark Newton, University Librarian. “Under Jennifer’s leadership, our reimagined special collections and digital scholarship programs will support a vibrant academic experience and meet scholars’ needs in this ever-changing information environment.”

In addition to guiding the work of the Gotlieb Center and Digital Ventures, King will develop practices for all special and distinctive collections held across the BU Libraries system and foster collaboration and partnerships across the BU community and beyond.

“Boston University’s archives already serve as a premier research destination, and I am eager to foster new avenues for more students and researchers to engage with these collections, both in person and online,” said King, who notes a deep commitment for collaboratively advancing user-centered library design, the accessibility of archival and library resources, and innovative 21st-century library services. “I look forward to advancing the BU Libraries’ special collections and digital scholarship programs, aligning them with BU’s research, social and racial justice commitments, and meeting the evolving needs of the community, creating many more opportunities for meaningful engagement, learning, and growth.”

King brings a strong track record of transformative and collaborative leadership to the role. King has held appointed and elected positions with the Society of American Archivists, New England Archivists, and the Association of College and Research Libraries. During her tenure at Emory, King spearheaded impactful partnerships with international, national, and local organizations, leading to substantial improvements in online archival access and increased public engagement. Noteworthy achievements include securing funding from the National Endowment for Humanities for the successful launch of the Wayfinder project, obtaining support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a foundation for virtual reading room services, and orchestrating the highly acclaimed 2023-2024 exhibition, ‘At the Crossroads with Benny Andrews, Flannery O’Connor, and Alice Walker.’ As the Director of the Harold F. Johnson Library at Hampshire College, she secured a $1.2 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the library’s transformation. King has also served as the Director of Archives and Special Collections at Mount Holyoke College, and the Coordinator of Special Collections at Virginia Tech.

King holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, a Master of Arts degree in history, and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Maryland.