Jason W. Dean is Director of Special Collections & Archives at Southwestern University, Texas' first institution of higher education. His undergraduate degree in history is from Hardin-Simmons University, and his MS LIS is from Syracuse University. Jason has also completed coursework at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.
Prior to coming to Southwestern, Jason was Head of the Special Formats Cataloging Unit at the University of Arkansas, and was previously the Cataloger and Technical Services Librarian at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, where he started their library.
His areas of research interest include special collections administration, the work and life of Carl Hertzog, American color printing, and metadata for rare books and special collections.
Jason is a member of the Grolier Club, and a past IMLS-RBS fellow. He is active in several professional organizations related to history, rare books, and archives.
Director of Special Collections & Archives
Head, Special Formats Cataloging Unit
University of Arkansas Libraries
Cataloger & Technical Services Librarian
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Social Studies Teacher
Wylie Independent School District
“In Living Color: Crystal Bridges and its American Color Plate Book Collection," Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 32 (Spring 2013): 87-101.
Review of Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas, Second Revised Edition by Denis Wood. Library Journal 15 June 2013. Print and Online.
“Charles A. Cutter and Edward Tufte: Coming to a Library Near You, via BIBFRAME,” In the Library with the Lead Pipe, December 4, 2013.
Review of The Engraving Trade in Early Cincinnati by Donald C. O'Brien. RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 15 (2): 157-158.
"A Process for Original Cataloging of Theses and Dissertations," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 53 (2): 234-246. Written with Mary A. Gibertson and Cedar Middleton, University of Arkansas Libraries.
“In a Still, Small Voice, or Listening to the Voices in Special Collections,” Archive Journal, 5 (Fall 2015).
"Social Media as Entrée into Special Collections Reference Works," by Jason W. Dean and Emily Grover, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage 18 (1): 37-43.
“The Manuscript Works of S. Fred Prince,” by Sarah Burke Cahalan and Jason W. Dean Archives of Natural History, 45 (1):122-133.
“S. Fred Prince (1857-1949): 'Artist-Scientist' of the Ozarks,” Sarah Burke Cahalan and Jason W. Dean; Book chapter in Living Ozarks: the Ecology and Culture of a Natural Place, Editors: William B. Edgar, Rachel M. Besara, James S. Baumlin; The Ozarks Studies Institute of Missouri State University, 2018.
Thomas Eakins: Intersecting Art with Science. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, October 2012.
Civil War Color Plate Books in the Collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Fayetteville Public Library, March 2012.
Great Reveal: Artist as Illustrator - Thomas Moran. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, March 2013.
S. Fred Prince in Space. Rare Books and Manuscripts Section Annual Preconference, June 2014.
Best Practices for Complex Diacritics Handling in CONTENTdm. International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, October 2014. Presented with Deb Kulczak, University of Arkansas Libraries.
Careers in Museums and Libraries. Panel Member, Southwestern University, March 22, 2016.
The Strategy & Method of Digitization of Special Collections Materials at Southwestern. Sun City Computer Club, April 18, 2016.
The View From the Director’s Desk: Managing Soft Skills in Special Collections. Panel Moderator, Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Annual Conference, June 23, 2016.
Edward A. Clark: Collector, Politician, Texan. Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Williamson County Meeting, February 18, 2017.
Put a Hashtag on it: #librariesofinstagram. Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Annual Conference, June 2017, presented with Lauren Hewes, Jay Sylvestre, and Diane Dias De Fazio.
The Work of Carl Hertzog: Bearing Witness to the Western Word. The Grace Museum, April 5, 2018.
The Work of Carl Hertzog: Interwoven and Albany. Old Jail Art Center, April 7, 2018.
Beyond Outreach: Working with Students and Classes as Curators. Rare Books & Manuscripts Section Annual Conference, June 2018, presented with Emily Higgs and Natalia Kapacinskas.
In Wright Morris's novel Plains Song, the narrator asks, "Is the past a story we are persuaded to believe, in the teeth of the life we endure in the present?" The question is always open. How we treat our world and each other grows from our vision of how we have come to where we are. Ultimately, of course, the issue is not survival but decency and common sense. Everything passes, the psalmist reminds us. No one escapes. The best we can hope is to learn a little from the speaking dead, to find in our deep past some help in acting wisely in the teeth of life. - Elliott West