Jonathan Bengtson receives prestigious award for services to academic libraries across the world
The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) has named Exeter alumnus Jonathan Bengtson (1992, MPhil in Modern History) as the recipient of the 2021 Ron MacDonald Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award recognises Bengtson’s ‘vision, dedication and outstanding service in building bridges and collaboration to advance knowledge infrastructure in Canada’. It is a testament to his contribution to academic libraries all over the world.
Bengtson graduated from the University of California with a summa cum laude BA, before coming to Exeter College Oxford to study an MPhil in History. Since the mid-90s he has been involved in academic and special libraries across the world. He was acting head librarian at Corpus Christi College and head librarian at The Queen’s College, Oxford, before moving to North America. There, he was the director of the Providence Athenaeum, one of the oldest libraries in America, and of the St Michael’s College library and the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto where he was also a Fellow of the Institute. Since 2012, Bengtson has been the University Librarian at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. He is the third person to hold this prestigious position since the foundation of the University in 1963.
Bengtson’s contribution to learning extends beyond libraries. He has been the President of Canadiana, the world’s largest digital collection of Canadian cultural heritage materials, and is the current chair of the (Canadian) National Heritage Digitization Strategy. He also founded KULA: Knowledge, Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies; an international, peer-reviewed open access journal and is the immediate Past President of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries.
Students and staff alike at Exeter College take great pride in our library and its central role in learning and development. We extend many congratulations to Jonathan Bengtson for receiving this important award.