Molly is the Japanese Studies Librarian and liaison for Korean Studies at University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Penn’s East Asian Languages & Civilizations department. In addition to her work as a librarian, she taught the seminar East Asian Digital Humanities (EALC111/511) (work-in-progress, updated syllabus PDF at mollydesjardin.com) at Penn in Spring 2018. In 2014, along with Katie Rawson, Molly co-founded WORD LAB, the Penn Libraries text analysis learning community, still going strong with current co-organizer Scott Enderle.

Molly is a historian of the book in modern Japan, ranging from Meiji (1868-1912) publishing to 21st-century urban exploration publications, and has a particular focus on theories and practices of authorship. Her article “Inventing Saikaku: Collectors, Provenance, and the Social Creation of an Author” appeared in Book History v.20 (2017) and she co-authored a chapter in ACRL’s forthcoming The Globalized Library with Michael P. Williams, Penn’s Coordinator of Area Studies Technical Services (and formerly library specialist for the Japanese and Korean collections).


PhD, Asian Languages & Cultures (University of Michigan 2012)

MSI, Library & Information Science (University of Michigan 2011)

MA, Asian Languages & Cultures (University of Michigan 2007)

BA, History with Honors (University of Pittsburgh 2003)

BS, Computer Science (University of Pittsburgh 2003)

Other Publications

“Leveraging Local Networks and International Partnerships in Japanese Collection Development.” With Michael P. Williams, in The Globalized Library (ACRL, forthcoming).


Imperial Lexiscape (with Brian Vivier)

The Language of Empire in Taiyō Magazine

Ongoing research on Meiji authorship, modern literary reprints, and contemporary Japanese urbex publications

Upcoming Talks and Conferences

Teaching “East Asian” DH (MLA, January 2019)


MLA, LLC Japanese Since 1900 committee member

Association for Asian Studies (AAS)

Council on East Asian Libraries (CEAL), Committee on Library Technology member

Molly Des Jardin

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