William P. Kelly to Lead NYPL's Research Libraries

Professor William P. Kelly (GC/Queens, English), former president of the Graduate Center, has been appointed by the New York Public Library as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Research Libraries.

Beginning in January 2016, Kelly will be responsible for leading the NYPL’s four research centers — the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Science, Industry and Business Library; the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; and the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street — and their 460 staff members.

Altogether, the research collections house roughly 45 million items, with 150,000 books added each year.

“Bill is both an accomplished scholar and a true leader, which combined with his passion, creativity, and his love of New York uniquely qualifies him to lead the Library’s research centers,” said NYPL President Tony Marx in a statement.

In his new role, Kelly will oversee collection, acquisition, and preservation of library materials; recruitment of curators and staff; short- and long-term fellowships; and significant renovation and improvement projects — including the renovation of the Midtown Campus, which will make an additional 40 percent of the Schwarzman Building accessible to scholars.

Kelly has worked at CUNY for nearly 40 years, starting in 1976 as a faculty member in the English department at Queen’s College. More recently, he has served as Graduate Center provost and senior vice president (1998-2005), and then as president (2005-2013).

A distinguished American literature scholar and an expert on the works of James Fenimore Cooper, Kelly is also vice chairman of the CUNY Research Foundation, and chairman of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which awards 200 fellowships annually to accomplished artists and scholars.

“I welcome the opportunity to protect and enhance the Library’s unparalleled collections, to support scholarship that depends upon those resources, and to advocate tirelessly for the critical importance of archival research,” he said.

Submitted on: DEC 29, 2015

Category: English | Faculty Activities | General GC News