Mark Dimunation was appointed Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress in 1998. As Chief, Mr. Dimunation is responsible for the development, interpretation, and management of the Rare Book Collection, the largest collection of rare books in North America. He acquires materials, develops programs of lectures and presentations, and oversees the operations of the Division.
He came to the Library of Congress from Cornell University, where he had served since 1991 as Curator of Rare Books and Associate Director for Collections in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, and taught in the English Department. Mr. Dimunation had his start with rare books when he was appointed the Assistant Chief of Acquisitions at The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. He served in this position from 1981 until 1983, when he was hired to be the Rare Book Librarian and Assistant Chief for Special Collections at Stanford University.
Mr. Dimunation did his undergraduate work at Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Following some course work at Christ Church College in Oxford, Mr. Dimunation entered the graduate program in American History at the University of California, Berkeley. It was the experience of doing his research at The Bancroft Library that prompted Mr. Dimunation to pursue a career in Rare Book Librarianship.
He specializes in 18th and 19th century English and American printing and has considerable experience working with antiquarian materials as well as fine press and contemporary artists books. He is nearing completion of an extensive project to reconstruct Thomas Jefferson’s Library at the Library of Congress. He is currently on the faculty of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, where he teaches the history of the book, and on the faculty of Catholic University. He is a member of The Grolier Club and was recently elected as a Member of the American Antiquarian Society.