Kristian Jensen

Head and shoulders photo of Dr Kristian Jensen
Head of Collections and Curation
Related Offices
Director of the Consortium of European Research Libraries and Chair of the Consortium’s Collection Security Working Group; represents the BL on the working group on spoliation of the National Museum Directors’ Conference; Senior Vice-President of the Bibliographical Society

Areas of responsibility

The Head of Collections & Curation is responsible for building, managing and promoting the understanding of our Collection of published, written and digital content, covering all formats, periods and geographical areas. 

His department is made up of four large collection areas, Asian and African, Contemporary British, European and American, and Western Heritage Collections. He is also responsible for the Digital Research and Digital Curators team and the Eccles Centre for American Studies.

Areas of expertise 

Interests include:
  • The role of concepts such as memory, memorialisation and commemoration for the formation and functioning of institutions which are sometimes described as memory institutions; the concept of cultural property and its role in this area
  • Collection history, spanning the 15th-19th centuries: with a focus on the political, symbolic and intellectual function of collecting and of collections, including the use of collections for reinterpreting the past for new purposes
  • 15th and 16th-century book history: I am interested in how interaction between the commercial needs of publishers/printers and the requirements of their customers shapes bodies of texts and the patters of the use of texts and books. I am interested in the institutional and non-institutional setting of academic disciplines  how this relates to  the history of the production, distribution, use, and ownership of university text books; in the relationship between books as merchandise and as conveyors of meaning, attitudes, and knowledge.


  • ‘Creating a Better Past: Collectors of Incunabula in the Late Eighteenth Century’ in Early Printed Books as Material Objects: Proceedings of the Conference Organized by the IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, Munich, 19-21 August 2009, ed. by B. Wagner and M.Reed (The Hague: De Gruyter, 2010), pp. 281-9
  • Revolution and the Antiquarian Book: Reshaping the Past, 1780-1815 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)
  • ‘Reading Augustine in the Fifteenth Century’, in Cultures of religious reading in the late middle ages: Instructing the soul, feeding the spirit and awakening the passion, ed. by S. Corbellini, Utrecht Studies in Medieval Literacy vol. 25 (Tournhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 141-72
  • ‘Printing at Oxford in its European Context 1478–1584’, in A History of Oxford University Press, vol. 1, ed. by I. Gadd (Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 29-49