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Julie Tanaka

Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Academic Professional, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 1006

Julie Tanaka is Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Interim Head of ASU's Distinctive Collections.

Before coming to ASU, I spent 8 years as Curator of Special Collections and Western European HIstory Librarian at the University of Notre Dame. I have also taught Humanities, Latin, and European History at both public and private universities in California and Washington.

One of the most important aspects of the work I do is introducing people from young children to retirees to the exciting world of special collections. There is something of interest for everyone. By inviting people through the doors to experience a variety of materials from clay tablets to old books to posters and prints, handwritten letters, phtoographs, and much more, I hope to remove the mystery of special collections. I aim to enhance people's understandings of the work we do and why we do things in certain ways. There are reasons why we ask people to store their personal belonging in lockers and to not use pens. I want to share the excitement and stories that important pieces of our cultural heritage in our collection tell with anyone who is interested.


PhD (HIstory), University of California, Berkeley

MLIS, University of Washington

MA (Classics), University of California, Irvine

BA (Humanities: European Civilizations), San Jose State University

Research Interests: 
  • Early printed histories in Western Europe
  • Intersection of history and identity
  • Cultural histories of the Holy Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire