Earle Havens


Florian Klampfer

Earle Havens is jointly appointed as the Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Visiting Associate Professor of in the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute of Johns Hopkins University. His work focuses on the history of print and manuscript culture from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance periods to the early 18th century.

Havens earned a joint-Ph.D. in History and Renaissance Studies at Yale University, and has served as curator of over a dozen major rare book, manuscript, and museum exhibitions and allied publications in the US and abroad. In addition to his role in building rare book and manuscript collections at JHU’s Sheridan Libraries, Dr. Havens also regularly teaches seminars on the history of the book and early modern European cultural history to undergraduate and graduate students at Hopkins.

His most recent publications include a volume of essays on the history of literary forgery from antiquity to the Enlightenment period; several book chapters, and a monograph Printers, Papists and Priests: Illicit Printing, Book Smuggling, and Scribal Culture in the Elizabethan Catholic Underground, in process; and the broader study of the history of marginalia and reading, and hybid forms of textual production in scribal and printed forms, particularly during the 16th and 17th centuries. He currently serves as lead curator of the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center at the Sheridan Libraries at JHU; and serves on the Faculty Editorial Board of the JHU Press and the Faculty Board of the Charles Singleton Center for the Study of Pre-Modern Europe in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at JHU.

Havens had received numerous awards and research fellowships for his work, most recently the Bodleian Library Research Fellowship awarded annually by the Renaissance Society of America; a Muriel McCarthy Research Fellowship at Archbishop Marsh’s Library, Dublin; and the Katherine F. Pantzer Senior Research Fellowship in the British Book Trades from the Bibliographical Society of America. Dr. Havens is Principal Investigator of The Archaeology of Reading in Early Modern Europe, a major four-year (2014-18) digital humanities initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation bringing together an international team of scholars and technologists from Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Princeton University, to develop the study of 16th-century manuscript marginalia within an enhanced digital research environment.

Dr. Havens also serves as a project advisor on several grant-funded research initiatives with digital humanities components, including a Mellon Foundation-funded, two-year investigation of material culture and book history, “Opening the Cabinet of Curiosities”, directed by the Victoria & Albert Museum Research Institute.