Dr Darren Bevin has been appointed new Librarian of Chawton House Library, the Hampshire study centre for English women’s writing from 1600 to 1830 and home to rare books and manuscripts by authors including Jane Austen and Mary Shelley.
Dr Bevin will be responsible for providing library services and support to academics and university students, as well as helping to develop further a unique collection of works for the study centre.
Dr Bevin was previously Senior Library Assistant at the Faculty of Divinity Library at the University of Cambridge. His 17-year career also includes librarian posts at the University Centre César Ritz in Switzerland and Manchester Metropolitan University.
He replaces Jacqui Grainger, who has moved to Sydney as the university’s Manager of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Dr Bevin said: “Having worked at the Special Collections unit at the University of Exeter whilst studying a PhD in English literature, I wanted to become more involved with rare books and archives.
“At Chawton House Library I have the opportunity to draw on my knowledge of the subject area and use my experience of working with library users and researchers in a unique setting,” he added.
Steve Lawrence, Chawton House Library’s Chief Executive, said: “Dr Bevin will be crucial in making sure we remain a world-leading specialist library.
“He understands the context of early women’s writing, based on his own academic studies, as well as the dynamics of providing a library service and support to scholars, whether the are leaders in their field or students,” Lawrence added.
“One key challenge is to expand our collection and acquire unique and interesting material with a relatively small budget so that our scholars get the very best out of what we have,” he said.
Chawton House itself is more than 400 years old and is regularly open to visitors, alongside library readers, for tours and during public events. It also runs educational and outreach projects with schools and colleges and fosters links internationally.
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