The session will examine the history of the deliberate destruction of libraries and archives through history, from ancient Assyria, through the Reformation and Renaissance, to the modern era.
It will focus especially on the fate of Jewish libraries and archives in the Holocaust, look at the cultural genocide following the break of the former Yugoslavia, and will conclude with examining the control of knowledge in the digital age.
Richard Ovenden is Bodley’s Librarian, the senior Executive of the Bodleian Libraries in the University of Oxford. Educated at Durham University and UCL, he has work as a librarian in the House of Lords, the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh University. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Society of Arts, holds a Professorial Fellowship at Balliol College Oxford, and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2014. He was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2019. His book Burning the Books: A History of Knowledge Under Attack was published by John Murray in 2020.
JW3 is delighted to be in partnership with YIVO. The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is dedicated to the preservation and study of the history and culture of East European Jewry worldwide. For nearly a century, YIVO has pioneered new forms of Jewish scholarship, research, education, and cultural expression. Their public programs and exhibitions, as well as online and on-site courses, extend their global outreach and enable them to share their vast resources. The YIVO Archive contains more than 23 million unique items and YIVO’s Library has over 400,000 volumes—the single largest resource for such study in the world.