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Middle East Studies Librarian

November 15, 2011, Volume 58, No. 12

David Giovacchini has been named Penn’s Middle East Studies Librarian.

He came to the University of Pennsylvania from Stanford University where he was the Arabic Librarian since 2003, as well as the Bibliographer for the Arts in the Islamic World and for Electronic Resources of and from the Middle East. In addition to his selection duties, Mr. Giovacchini was the main cataloger for Stanford’s Middle East Unit.

He started his librarian career in 1988 at the New York Public Library, where he was trained and worked as an Arabic cataloger. In 1998 he became the Arabic Librarian in the Middle East Division at Harvard University. A decade later, he accepted appointment as an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University where he taught classes on Political Islam and Cinema and Middle East.

Mr. Giovacchini holds a BA from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, concentrating his graduate studies on medieval Muslim extremist groups, and the concept of the Islamic messiah, or Mahdi. Mr. Giovacchini combines knowledge of the modern Middle East with a deep familiarity with the Islamic Classical world.

At Penn, he is responsible for the operations of the Libraries’ Middle East Studies Unit, where he manages print and electronic collections in Middle Eastern and European languages. In addition to selecting materials, he is available for research consultations and provides library support to Middle East studies classes. He is proficient in Arabic, Turkish, French, German, and Persian. In 2010, he was elected to the Executive Board as Member-at-Large, and is also the acting Chair of the Nomination Committee of the Middle East Librarians Association.

Almanac - November 15, 2011, Volume 58, No. 12