Greg Prickman Named Folger Librarian and Director of Collections
Washington, D.C. — Greg Prickman, head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries, has been named Eric Weinmann Librarian and Director of Collections at the Folger.
"I am so excited to be joining the Folger Shakespeare Library as the Eric Weinmann Librarian,” said Prickman. “The Folger is such a vibrant place, and I am thrilled to begin working with the staff. They have made the collections what they are today, and I look forward to contributing to the next chapter in the life of this magnificent library.”
During his tenure at the University of Iowa, Prickman has prioritized making collections accessible to contemporary audiences. He was the instigator of DIY History (https://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu), a crowdsourcing transcription project for Civil War diaries and other digitized manuscripts, and the creator and lead developer of The Atlas of Early Printing (http://atlas.lib.uiowa.edu), a digital, publicly accessible map depicting the development of printing in Europe in the 15th century that uses GIS mapping. Other projects have included the digitization of more than 10,000 science fiction, fantasy, and horror fanzines from the James L. "Rusty" Hevelin Collection; renovation of the UI Libraries exhibition gallery; significant increases in instructional use of the collections; preservation and digitization of reel-to-reel data tapes from the Explorer satellites, first launched in 1958; and an innovative focus on social media and special collections.
Under his leadership, recent acquisitions to the library's collections include the Gallup family papers, the Tom Brokaw papers, and the Brinton Collection of Early Film. He appears in a 2017 documentary featuring this collection entitled Saving Brinton (http://brintonfilm.com).
In 2016, Prickman planned and led the exhibition of a Folger First Folio at the University of Iowa as part of the Folger's nationwide tour, The First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. He has also been the curator of more than 20 exhibitions on diverse subjects associated with the library's special collections, including the 250th anniversary of William Blake's birth, the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, and the impact of Star Trek. Prickman co-founded the Iowa City Book Festival, and co-directed it from 2009 to 2011. He is the recipient of the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence in 2015 for contributions to the University of Iowa Libraries.
Prickman came to the University of Iowa Libraries in 2006, working as a special collections librarian and then as the assistant head of Special Collections and University Archives before becoming the head of Special Collections in 2011. He has also taught graduate-level courses at the university's Center for the Book and School of Library and Information Services. Before Iowa, he worked at public, academic, and corporate libraries, including the Ebling Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Special Collections and Preservation Division of the Chicago Public Library.
He has written many articles and book reviews, including an interview with science fiction and absurdist author Jasper Fforde, whose books, including The Eyre Affair, are richly grounded in libraries and literature. Prickman is a long-standing member of the Caxton Club (Chicago).
A 1994 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, Prickman majored in History and Studio Art with a printmaking focus. His MLS, with a specialization in Rare Books and Manuscripts, is from Indiana University.
“Greg Prickman’s deep experience with special collections and ability to lead a talented staff will be a great asset to the Folger for years to come,” said Folger Director Michael Witmore in making the announcement. “I look forward to working with Greg as we continue to build this great collection and make it even more accessible to the many audiences we serve.”