Francis X. Blouin Jr.
Professor of History and Professor in the School of Information,
He was director of the Bentley historical Library at the University of Michigan from 1981 to 2013.
He has done extensive work in understanding archives in an international context. From 1984-2004 he led an effort to do a complete inventory and catalog of the archives of the Vatican. This work was published as Vatican Archives: An Inventory and Guide to Historical Documentation of the Holy See Oxford University Press, (1998) with a supplement published in 2004.This project was funded by a series of grants from the Getty Grant Program, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For the years 1999-2014, he led an ongoing exchange between the University of Michigan and the State Archives Administration of China. He has also done work relating to archival issues in France, Denmark, Russia, and Brazil.
In 2001 he and William Rosenberg, a colleague in the department of history, led a year long interdisciplinary seminar on “Archives, Documentation, and Institutions of Social Memory.” The proceedings were published by the University of Michigan Press. Recently he and Rosenberg published their own study: Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives published by Oxford University Press in 2011. He has served on a number of boards and commissions, most notably the Council for Library and Information Resources and the State of Michigan Historical Records Board.
He arrived at the UM in 1974 as an archivist at the Bentley library. Shortly thereafter, he completed a Ph.D. in history at the University of Minnesota. He joined the faculty in 1978 to develop a program in archival administration jointly housed in the History Department and in the then called School of Library Science.