UO Today with David de Lorenzo

UO Libraries welcomes new special collections director

After 15 years helping supervise special collections in Berkeley’s library, David de Lorenzo has migrated north to become the first Giustina Director of Special Collections and University Archives in the UO Libraries.

De Lorenzo served as the associate director and head of technical services at the Bancroft Library, which is the primary special collections library at the University of California, Berkeley. He also teaches as an adjunct faculty member at the School of Information Studies at San Jose State University. He began his service with the UO in September.

“David de Lorenzo comes to us through a rigorous, highly competitive national search, bringing extensive leadership experience, deep subject expertise and a host of impressive professional achievements,” said Adriene Lim, dean of libraries and Philip H. Knight Chair.

De Lorenzo recently sat down for an interview on UO Today to talk about special collections and his vision for the future. The interview is available through the UO Today website.

Prior to his 15-year term at Berkeley, de Lorenzo served as the France-Merrick Director for the Library at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore, was the curator of manuscripts and archives at Harvard Law School and was the university archivist and head of special collections at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Wabash College and a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston. During his career, he has led numerous grant-funded projects and has published and presented papers on topics ranging from electronic records management to strategic planning.

“I am particularly interested in the challenges facing libraries for increased access to information in a variety of formats,” de Lorenzo said. “In my new role at the University of Oregon, I want to continue to meet these challenges of bringing our libraries into the 21st century and providing excellent support for the community’s research needs.”

As the Giustina Director with the UO Libraries, de Lorenzo will oversee a unit charged with preserving and promoting access to some of the library’s most precious institutional resources. Featuring one-of-a-kind documents, rare volumes, original works of art and more than a million photographs, the Special Collections and University Archives constitute an unparalleled record of Pacific Northwest history and culture — one of the largest such collections in the region.

“Special collections and archives are the core of the research mission in a university library,” de Lorenzo said. “As an adjunct to the university’s curriculum, special collections provide the opportunity to expose both undergraduate and graduate students directly to primary resources.”

“By facilitating public access to and preserving our unique collections,” Lim said, “UO Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives is able to partner with high-achieving faculty members and students in a variety of teaching and research endeavors. We’re looking forward to having David join us to help us build upon the strengths of our programs and services for the entire community.”

The Giustina Director of Special Collections and University Archives was endowed through a $1 million gift to UO Libraries by the Giustina Forest Foundation.

By Jason Stone, UO Libraries