Brian leads area studies collections at the Penn Libraries, coordinating collection development in non-Western languages and overseeing the Libraries' area studies departments. He also serves as the Chinese Studies Librarian, managing Penn's collections related to Chinese studies in Chinese, English, and other languages, while providing research support in all aspects of Chinese studies. Brian serves on the Penn Libraries Collection Development Council and represents global collections within the Libraries and across campus, aiming to bring the distinctive contributions of area studies librarians and collections into the full range of the university’s work.
Trained in Chinese history, Brian is an adjunct associate professor of Chinese studies, teaching graduate seminars and serving on dissertation committees. His research focuses on the economic and social history of Middle Period China and on China’s frontiers from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries. He has received fellowships for research in East Asia from the Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright Program.
Brian currently serves as chair of the International Collections and Content Group at the Center for Research Libraries, and as a member of the Council on East Asian Libraries Committee on Chinese Materials, the Bibliography of Asian Studies Advisory Committee, and the Society for Chinese Studies Librarians Executive Board. He is book review editor for the Journal of Song-Yuan Studies.
Before coming to Penn, Brian was the Coordinator of Public and Information Services for the Asia Library at the University of Michigan and Special Projects Manager for Yale's East Asia Library. Brian holds a BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Chinese history from Yale University, and a library degree from Southern Connecticut State University.