Valerie Hotchkiss

Valerie Hotchkiss is the Head of The Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been leading libraries for the past 20 years and is passionate about the cultural role of libraries in society. She delights in organizing workshops, international exhibitions, friends groups, book collecting contests, lecture series, plays and music in the library, and other cultural events to celebrate our intellectual and cultural heritage. At the University of Illinois she has focused on making the collections more accessible through cataloging projects, archival processing, and renovation of public spaces. Hotchkiss is also deeply committed to furthering the profession and training new special collections librarians. To this end, she is the founding director of the Midwest Book & Manuscript Studies Program, a certificate program within the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Illinois. In addition to leading The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Hotchkiss serves as Professor of Medieval Studies, Religious Studies, and Library Science. She has a B.A. in Classics, the M.L.S. degree, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She is the author of numerous books and articles on cultural history and topics in the history of books and printing, including Clothes Make the Man: Female Transvestism in Medieval Europe (Garland, 1996) and the 4-volume Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition with Jaroslav Pelikan (Yale University Press, 2003). Her most recent book is English in Print from Caxton to Shakespeare to Milton (University of Illinois Press, 2008). She is also the editor-in-chief of a new series of digital facsimiles at Rice University Press entitled Catchwords: Primary Sources for College Curricula.


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