Inside the beltway bit-level philologist, digital historiographer, open source pragmatist, pragmatic digital preservationist, primary source theorist, digital cultural heritage strategist, sudo archivist, alt-Academic, accidental information technologist, reluctant bureaucrat, and professional emailer.

Ok, for real;

Trevor Owens is a Digital Archivist/Historian with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress. Broadly speaking, he works on digital strategy for cultural heritage organizations. His work focuses on analysis and preservation of born digital artifacts and tools and practices for making digital and digitized cultural heritage objects accessible and useful to various audiences.

At the Library of Congress he plays a key role in defining national strategy for digital collecting and preservation. In this respect, he contributed to Preserving.exe Report: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Software and Science at Risk: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Online Science. He also serves as a co-chair for the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Infrastructure working group and as a project manager for the open source Viewshare cultural heritage collection data visualization tool.

In 2013, he served as the Special Curator for an expansive online collection and thematic exhibition Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond. The exhibition features over 300 items, 18 thematic essays, and a range of resources for k-12 teachers. The project also resulted in A Draft Guide for Digital Collection Hypertexts, which has been broadly used to inform the composition of online exhibitions at a range of institutions.

Before joining the Library of Congress he was the community lead for the Zotero project  at the Center for History and New Media and before that managed outreach for the Games, Learning, and Society Conference.

Education: Trevor has a doctorate in social science research methods and educational technology from the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University. Trevor’s research focuses on the history and design of online community software systems, video games and culture, and software tools for humanities scholarship. His training is in the history of science, digital history and research methods in the social sciences. Trevor holds a bachelors degree in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin, and a masters degree in American History with an emphasis on digital history from George Mason University.

Publications: His work has appeared in Curator: The Museum Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Journal of Digital Humanities,  D-Lib,  Simulation & Gaming, Science Communication, Cultural Studies of Science Education and On the Horizon. He is currently finishing a book on the history of online community software platforms for Peter Lang. He also wrote a book for Arcadia Press about the history of Fairfax County told through postcards.

Awards: In 2014 the Society for American Archivists gave him the Archival Innovator Award, an award granted annually  to recognize the archivist, repository, or organizations that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.” In 2009 Read Write Web identified him as one of 50 Semantic Web Pros, and the history department at George Mason Univeristy granted him the C. W. Bright Pixel Prize for the Best History and New Media Project. In 2006 he won the Ruth Knatz Memorial Prize, an award granted by the University of Wisconsin Integrated Liberal Studies department to recognize the most promising scholar doing interdisciplinary work in the humanities. In 2005 he won the Tricia Nordby Hamrin Research Award, granted by the University of Wisconsin honors department to support research into the history of representations of scientists in children’s books.

He is also a violinist. He likes to read graphic novels. Trevor lives Burke Virginia with his wife Marjee Chmiel and their dogs Bowser and Zelda.

Contact: You can reach him trevor dot johnowens at gmail dot com


(I don’t like writing these things in the third person, but I am tired of swapping out the first for third person stuff when someone asks me for a bio, so here we are.)

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