Dean of Libraries, University Librarian and Professor of English
John M. Unsworth became Dean of Libraries, University Librarian, and Professor of English at the University of Virginia in June 2016. He is a 1988 PhD from the UVA English Department, and returned to serve as a member of that faculty from 1993 to 2003, during which time he was tenured as an Associate Professor of English (1998) and served as the Director of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH), located in the Library and reporting to a Vice-Provost for Research.
Before returning to UVA in 2016, Mr. Unsworth served for four years as Vice-Provost for Library and Technology Services & Chief Information Officer at Brandeis University in Massachusetts. From 2003-2012, Mr. Unsworth served as Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he also held appointments in the Department of English, on the Library faculty, and as Director of the Illinois Informatics Institute.
In August of 2013, for his work in Digital Humanities he was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Humanities Council, from which he resigned in 2019. For his work at UVA’s IATH, he received the 2005 Richard W. Lyman Award from the National Humanities Center. He chaired the national commission that produced Our Cultural Commonwealth, the 2006 report on Cyberinfrastructure for Humanities and Social Science, on behalf of the American Council of Learned Societies. Mr. Unsworth has supervised research projects across the disciplines in the humanities, has published widely on the topic of digital humanities, and has directed many grant-funded projects in digital humanities, library digital infrastructure, accessibility, and related topics, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Getty Grant Program, and others.