Director and Librarian

Since 2013, Neil Safier is the Beatrice and Julio Mario Santo Domingo Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library. He also holds an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of History at Brown University. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 2004 and has held teaching and research appointments at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, and most recently at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. He is the author of Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America (Chicago, 2008; paperback edition, 2012), which was awarded the 2009 Gilbert Chinard Prize from the Society for French Historical Studies and the Institut Français d’Amérique. He has held numerous research fellowships at libraries and archives, including the Huntington Library, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, and has a wide collection of published books and articles, including essays in Isis, Book History, The Huntington Library Quarterly, and Annales: Histoire, Sciences Sociales (2011). His current research relates to the material history of the Brazilian Enlightenment, environmental and ethnographic history of the Amazon River basin, and the circulation of ideas in the Atlantic world during the age of revolutions.

To hear a 2015 lecture given by Neil on the past – and future – of the John Carter Brown Library, please click here.

Previous Librarians of the John Carter Brown Library

  • George Parker Winship 1895–1915 
  • Champlin Burrage 1916 
  • Worthington C. Ford 1917–1922 (acting) 
  • Lawrence C. Wroth 1923–1957 
  • Thomas R. Adams 1957–1983 
  • Norman Fiering 1983–2006 
  • Edward L. Widmer 2006–2012