Michelle McDonald Appointed Director of APS's Library & Museum

Following a nation-wide search by a committee chaired by Sarah Thomas (APS 2013), who was most recently the Harvard University Librarian, the American Philosophical Society is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Michelle Craig McDonald as Director of the Society’s Library & Museum. The Director, or Librarian, oversees the Library & Museum’s staff of 35 and stewards the Society’s collections and the many scholarly activities connected with them.

Professor McDonald brings not only great high-level administrative experience but also an extensive background in museum education, a scholarly record in early American history, and significant work in public history.

Professor McDonald is currently chair of the History Program and Professor of Atlantic History at Stockton University, Galloway, N.J. In her seventeen years at Stockton, she has held several positions of responsibility, including interim provost, chief academic officer of the Atlantic City campus, vice provost, and associate vice president for academic affairs.

Professor McDonald holds a Ph.D. in History, University of Michigan, an M.A. in Liberal Arts, St. John's College, Annapolis, an M.A. in Museum Studies/American Studies, George Washington University, and a B.A. in History, U.C.L.A. She was the Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History from 2005 to 2006.

Professor McDonald will begin working part time at the Society in January 2024. She will join the staff full time in February.

About the American Philosophical Society’s Library & Museum

The American Philosophical Society (APS), founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, is America’s oldest and most distinguished learned society. It is a major center for research and scholarship, continuing Franklin’s original mission of promoting useful knowledge. The Library & Museum, situated in four buildings adjacent to Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, includes some 300,000 books and bound periodicals, 14 million manuscripts, many thousands of images, and thousands of portraits, artifacts, and sound recordings. Its collections center on American history before 1860; history of science, technology and medicine; and Native American languages and cultures. Three library centers – the David Center for the American Revolution, the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, and the Center for Digital Scholarship support research, fellowships, seminars, conferences, and public outreach. The museum’s annual exhibitions attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. The library’s conferences, often keyed to the themes of museum exhibitions, support innovative scholarship and publication through the APS Press. 

More from the blog

Alyssa Brophy
American Philosophical Society
Alexandra Rospond