News | October 16, 2023

Library of Congress Appoints Stephanie Stillo Chief of Rare Book and Special Collections

Library of Congress

Stephanie Stillo

The Library of Congress has named Stephanie Stillo as the new chief of the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Stillo, who has already assumed her new role, joined the Library in 2016. She has served as the curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection and the Aramont Library — two of the division’s notable collections.

The Rare Book and Special Collections Division is the largest collection of rare books in North America. Its holdings include nearly one million books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, title pages, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center of the collection is President Thomas Jefferson's library, which was sold to Congress in 1815.

As division chief, Stillo will lead the development, stewardship, interpretation, promotion and service of the collection to meet the needs of government officials, scholars and the public.

“Through a search that drew applicants from across the nation, Stephanie proved to be the top candidate based on the combination of her deep knowledge of rare books and special collections, her breadth of experience across all aspects of collection development and stewardship, and her strong commitment to collaboration,” said Jennifer Meehan, director of Special Collections. “She has a clear and compelling vision for expanding the reach and impact of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. I look forward to what lies ahead for the division under Stephanie’s leadership.”

During her time at the Library, Stillo has collaborated with division staff to launch several engagement initiatives - including the division’s first crowdsourcing campaign and two large symposiums - as well as the Artists and Archives program, which manages an archivist every year to process archival arrearage relating to the contemporary book arts. She also oversees the division’s popular video series From the Vaults and co-manages the division’s blog, Bibliomania.

In 2020, Stillo was essential in brokering the Aramont Library donation for the Library. The large collection of modern literary editions, fine binding and 20th century livres d’artiste (artists’ books) was accompanied by a $1m programming endowment and a $1m educational outreach gift from the Aramont Charitable Foundation.

“Over the past seven years as Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection and the Aramont Library, I have had the privilege of witnessing the incredible knowledge of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division team and the astonishing breadth of our collections,” Stillo said. “I am deeply grateful for those years. I am now looking forward to working with my colleagues in the division and beyond to support Dr. Hayden’s vision to connect all Americans to the Library of Congress.” 

Stillo completed a doctorate in Modern European History in 2013. After earning her Ph.D., she served as the Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at Washington & Lee University, where she taught classes on digital storytelling, public history and virtual exhibitions.