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Penn Libraries News

University of Pennsylvania Libraries Announces Brian Vivier as Inaugural Director of the Center for Global Collections

Headshot of Brian Vivier standing in front of the mural in the Moelis Reading Room.

The Penn Libraries is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Vivier as its inaugural Director of the Center for Global Collections, effective July 21. Vivier, who has been the Penn Libraries’ Coordinator for Area Studies Collections and Chinese Studies Librarian since 2012, brings a deep expertise in collection development, scholarship, and support for Penn’s students and staff. In his new role, he will provide strategic vision, leadership, and oversight for the Center in building world-class distinctive global collections and engaging programming. 

Vivier takes the helm of the Center for Global Collections, which builds on the Penn Libraries Area Studies Collections to highlight non-Western voices, languages, and cultures. He will supervise the work of eight librarians supporting Africana Studies, Chinese Studies, Japanese and Korean Studies, Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and South Asian Studies. He will also aid scholars in utilizing the Center’s resources and assist Penn faculty in using global collections materials to enrich the classroom experience. 

"I am delighted to appoint Brian as director of the Center for Global Collections. Brian has demonstrated his commitment to driving the Center toward an ever-higher standard of excellence, innovation, and access through a creative strategic vision,” says Brigitte Weinsteiger, Gershwind & Bennett Family Associate Vice Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications. “Brian has built upon his studies in Chinese history to not only become an expert in the field of Chinese studies – most recently completing a year in Taiwan as a Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar – but also to develop collections and manage support for the Penn community across all global studies. I look forward to seeing Brian shape a destination for students and scholars to explore the languages, cultures, and experiences of people all over the world.” 

Vivier will add new staff, collections, and programming, while engaging in new partnerships across and beyond Penn. “For me, the most exciting aspect of librarianship is working together with creative colleagues to connect researchers and students with information around the world,” Vivier says. “With the new Center for Global Collections, I am looking forward to expanding that work, both to incorporate a broader range of voices in our collection development and to bring our work in conversation with even more parts of Penn. The Center will serve as a hub, both within Penn and within the community of research libraries, for engagement with a true world of information.” 

Vivier’s research focuses on the economic and social history of Middle Period China and on China’s frontiers from the 10th to the 13th centuries. He is an adjunct associate professor of Chinese studies at Penn. Vivier serves on the Bibliography of Asian Studies Advisory Committee, is book review editor for the Journal of Song-Yuan Studies, and is a board member of the Council on East Asian Libraries. Over the past two years, he has chaired the International Collections and Content Group at the Center for Research Libraries, a group advising on support for the future of international librarianship and the development of more respectful and inclusive approaches to global collections.  

Before joining the Penn Libraries, Vivier 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. He holds a BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a PhD in Chinese history from Yale University, and an MLS from Southern Connecticut State University.