Owens serves as the first Head of Digital Content Management at the Library of Congress. He is also a Public Historian in Residence at American University, and a lecturer for the University of Maryland’s College of Information, where he is also a Research Affiliate with the Center for Archival Futures.
He currently serves on the board of Anacostia Trails Heritage Area, as a founding board member of Digital Cultural Heritage D.C., as a member of the CLIR Hidden Collections Digitization Program Review Panel, and as a member of the Digital Library Federation Advisory Committee.
Owens previously worked as a Senior Program Officer and as Associate Deputy Director for Libraries at the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). At the IMLS, he led the establishment of the National Digital Platform initiative, which under his leadership, invested more than $30 million in 110 projects to advance digital infrastructure for libraries across the nation. At IMLS, he also was responsible for leading agency’s open government and open data initiatives. Prior to that, he worked on digital preservation strategy and as a historian of science at the Library of Congress. Before joining the Library of Congress, he led outreach and communications efforts for the open source Zotero digital research tool at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.
Owens is the author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018 and has won outstanding publication awards from both the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists. His research and writing has been featured in: Curator: The Museum Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Journal of Digital Humanities, D-Lib, Simulation & Gaming, Science Communication, New Directions in Folklore, and American Libraries.
In 2021, the American Library Association named Owens the recipient of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, an award that recognizes a body research spanning years, if not the majority of a career that is having a positive and substantive impact on the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information. In 2019, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason University recognized him as Distinguished Alumni in History and Art History, exemplifying “the adaptability of a humanities and social sciences education” and for “taking an active role towards confronting essential questions and problems in our society.” In 2018 Library Journal recognized Owens as one of the “top changemakers who are transforming what it means to be a librarian.” In 2014 the Society for American Archivists granted him the Archival Innovator Award, presented annually to the archivist, repository, or organization that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.”
The best way to get a hold of me is email (trevor dot john owens at gmail dot com) or twitter (@tjowens). I am up for commenting on any of the areas that I work in a personal capacity. If you are a journalist on tight deadlines it will likely work best if you can email me a specific set of questions instead of trying to set up a time to talk on the phone.
Interviews and Press:
- Scientists’ Hard Drives, Databases, and Blogs, Interview for the National Library of Medicine 2018
- Q&A with Trevor Owens, LC Head of Digital Content Management, Library Journal, December 2017
- Gamification Meets Meaningful Play: Talking Trends with Trevor Owens, Information Today, December 2016
- Mecha-Archivists Revisited: An Interview with Trevor Owens and Emily Reynolds, BloggERS, June 2016
- The National Digital Platform for Libraries: An Interview with Trevor Owens and Emily Reynolds from IMLS, The Signal, September 2015
- Owens to head National Digital Platform responsibilities across programs at IMLS, IMLS Press Release, January 2015
- Five Questions with Digital Archivist Trevor Owens, Teaching with the Library of Congress, July 2014
- Trevor Owens’ First Five. First Five, October 2012
- Interview with Trevor Owens, Digital History, September 2012
- ScienceOnline2012 – interview with Trevor Owens, Scientific American, July 2012
- New Digital Archivist Joins NDIIPP, Library of Congress News Release, January 2011
- Zotero: Interview with Trevor Owens, PLOS Blogs, March 2009
- Next-Generation Bibliographic Manager : An Interview with Trevor Owens, Innovate: Journal of Online Education, March 2008
- How Do You Solve a Problem Like Bibliographies? Zotero! IMLS Project Profile, September 2007
Mentions/Quoted in the Press & Media
- Yahoo Answers is shutting down. Why are companies ditching discussion features?, April 2021
- Pop Up Archive Filled a Need for Audio Archiving, and Apple Noticed, Humanities Magazine, Fall 2017
- Why archivists are scrambling to back up the internet By Lauren Fields @lfieldsa Published: Desert News, Feb. 24, 2017
- WhiteSpace Project Could Grow Rural Broadband Access, Library Journal, Jan 2017
- How Adobe Flash, once the face of the web, fell to the brink of obscurity—and why it’s worth saving, Quartz, December 2016
- The Death and Life of Digital Archives: Preserving the present doesn’t always work in the future. Slate, Nov. 4 2015
- IMLS Hires Trevor Owens to Lead National Digital Platform Program, Infodocket, Jan 2015
- Books meet bytes At Radcliffe, thoughts on the future of digital library collections, Harvard Gazette, April 4, 2014
- The Future of Saving the Past Archival Technologies in the Digital Era, Radcliffe Magazine, April 2014
- Another Push for Embargoes Second history organization comes out against requirement that all dissertations be made available online. Inside Higher Education, Dec, 2013
- Embargoes for Dissertations? American Historical Association wants universities to permit blocking of online access to doctoral students’ work for six years, saying such rules will protect new Ph.D.s seeking to publish. Not everyone wants to be protected. Inside Higher Education, July 2013
- Breaking Down Menus Digitally, Dish by Dish, The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 2012
- Research Librarians Consider the Risks and Rewards of Collaboration, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct 2011