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Penn Libraries Appointments

September 27, 2011, Volume 58, No. 03

Arthur M. Fraas has been appointed as the first Judith and William Bollinger Fellow in Library Innovation. Established by Library Board member and University Trustee, Judith Bollinger (WG’81, PAR’14), and her husband, William (PAR’14), the Fellow will help shape innovative library research services and content strategies in support of teaching and learning at Penn. Dr. Fraas will focus, in particular, on strengthening services in the digital humanities, including the design of a new media lab scheduled to open in the renovated Special Collections Center.

Dr. Fraas received his PhD in history from Duke University, examining the legal culture of British India up to the 1770s. In addition to the history of law and imperialism, he takes an active interest in cartography, the history of printing and the book, and the future of scholarly publishing and copyright. He was awarded a BA in history from Boston College.

Dr. Fraas has work experience as a reference intern at Duke’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library as well as experience in scholarly publishing, in the Rights and Permissions department at Duke University Press and as a proofreader with the Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle project. This past year Dr. Fraas was employed by the Haiti Humanities Lab at Duke and over the summer he was a Fellow at the Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History at the University of Wisconsin.


Brian Vivier has been appointed the Chinese Studies Librarian. Dr. Vivier comes to Penn from the University of Michigan, where he was the Coordinator of Public Services in the Asia Library. In this capacity he oversaw the Asia Library’s website, performed collection development and management for European-language materials in East Asian studies; and provided reference services and classroom instruction. He worked on collaborative projects with other library divisions—in particular, leading the Asia Library’s digitization initiatives and identifying ways to apply digital humanities techniques to research in East Asian studies. He also worked to promote open access publishing in the humanities and serves on the editorial board of Fragments, a forthcoming open-access journal dedicated to interdisciplinary approaches to the pre-modern world.

Dr. Vivier’s academic interests are in the history of medieval China and Inner Asia, and traditional Chinese bibliography and book history. He holds a library degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a PhD in history from Yale University. He received his BA in history and bassoon performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Pushkar Sohoni has been appointed as South Asia Studies Librarian.

Dr. Sohoni returns to Penn after a postdoctoral fellowship in Indo-Persian Studies at the University of British Columbia. He received his PhD in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 for his research on architecture of the early modern Deccan.

Dr. Sohoni has worked with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Architectural Archives at Penn, and taught at the University of the Arts. He has also been a member of several interdisciplinary research collaborations, such as “Art Space and Mobility in the Early Ages of Globalization 400-1650,” sponsored by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence.

Dr. Sohoni has extensive knowledge of Indic languages and established contacts with publishers, libraries, and archives in South Asia. Having trained as a professional architect in India, he worked on several conservation projects in India and abroad after receiving a graduate degree in historic preservation.

Contemporary architecture and its practice in South Asia are some of his fields of study, including the politics and structures of preserving historic sites. His broader interests include: archaeology, collecting practices, history, and numismatics. Dr. Sohoni is a life member of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune and the Council of Architecture, and also belongs to several other professional organizations, such as the Association of Asian Studies and the College Art Association.


Rebecca Stuhr has been appointed to the position of Coordinator and Librarian for Humanities Collections. Ms. Stuhr has collection and liaison responsibilities for Classical studies, history, and interdisciplinary humanities. She is also committed to connecting the Libraries’ humanities collections and services to the mission of the University and furthering the Libraries’ role within the academic community.  

Ms. Stuhr comes to Penn from Grinnell College where she served as Collection Development and Preservation Librarian, overseeing monographic and serials collections and acquisitions, with liaison responsibilities to the departments of American Studies, Classics, French, German, Music, and Russian and East European Studies. She began her career at the University of Kansas as a reference librarian and bibliographer for Germanic languages and literatures.

Earning a BA from St. Olaf College and a MLS from UC Berkeley, Ms. Stuhr has pursued research interests in music, ethnic American autobiography, library preservation, open access, and contemporary American literature. She has recently undertaken a study of major urban public libraries and their services and programming for diverse populations. At Grinnell, Ms. Stuhr served as a mentor to underrepresented students on campus, and developed and strengthened ties between the library and student groups and offices on campus. She is also a professional musician, performing as a baroque and modern flutist.

Almanac - September 27, 2011, Volume 58, No. 03