Dr. Trevor Owens is a librarian, researcher, policy maker, and educator advancing digital infrastructure and programs for libraries, archives, museums, and related cultural institutions.

Owens serves as the Director of Digital Services at the Library of Congress. With nearly 100 employees, the Digital Services Directorate is responsible for the Library of Congress digital collections, digitization, discovery and metadata management services. This includes internationally recognized web archiving and crowdsourcing programs. He is also a Public Historian in Residence at American University, a Lecturer for the University of Maryland’s College of Information,  a Research Affiliate with the Center for Archival Futures, and a faculty member for California’s Rare Book School. He currently serves on the advisory board for the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, on the review panel for Digitizing Hidden Collections: Amplifying Unheard Voices and as a member of the Services Consultation Committee for Library and Archives Canada.

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 the National Digital Platform (NDP) initiative. Under his leadership, the NDP initiative 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 the 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. He is working on completing his fourth book, After Disruption: A Future for Cultural Memory, which is under contract with University of Michigan Press. 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.

Owens has won a number of prestigious awards and scholarships. In 2022, Owens served as a Fulbright Specialist with the National Library of Kosovo leading the development of their first digital collections strategy. 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.”

Contacting Me: 

The best way to get a hold of me is email (trevor dot john owens at gmail dot com) or twitter (@tjowens) or .  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: 

Mentions/Quoted in the Press & Media