Dan Cohen is the Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of the Libraries, and professor of history at Northeastern University. His work has focused on the impact of digital media and technology on all aspects of knowledge and learning, from the nature of libraries and their evolving resources, to twenty-first century research techniques and software tools, to the changing landscape of communication and publication. He has directed major initiatives that have helped to shape that future.
Prior to his tenure at Northeastern, he was the founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America, which brought together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and made them freely available to the world. Through a partnership with President Obama and other nonprofits and publishers, DPLA also distributed thousands of award-winning ebooks for free to millions of in-need children.
Before DPLA, Dan was a professor of history in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University and the director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. There he oversaw projects ranging from PressForward to the September 11 Digital Archive to the popular Zotero research tool.
He is the co-author of Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), author of Equations from God: Pure Mathematics and Victorian Faith (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and co-editor of Hacking the Academy (University of Michigan Press, 2012). He has published articles and book chapters on new media, the history of mathematics and religion, the teaching of history, scholarly communication, and the future of the humanities in a digital age in academic journals and popular outlets such as the Journal of American History, Victorian Studies, Rethinking History, Wired, and The Atlantic. Dan’s work and thought has been featured frequently in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chronicle of Higher Education, and Times Higher Education.
Dan was an inaugural recipient, in 2006, of the American Council of Learned Societies’ Digital Innovation Fellowship. In 2011 he received the Frederick G. Kilgour Award from the American Library Association, and in 2016 he was given the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science. In 2012 he was named one of the top “tech innovators” in academia by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Dan received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton, a master’s from Harvard, and his doctorate from Yale.