Bios: Presenters

Find below professional biographical information on the four esteemed individuals who will make presentations at the Sustaining Digital History meeting. Their presentation title immediately follows their name.

Anne Sarah Rubin (Authoring Digital Scholarship:  Challenges and Opportunities) is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her book A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy (UNC, 2005) received the 2006 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians, for the most original book on the Civil War era. She was a co-author of the award-winning Valley of the Shadow, an interactive history of the Civil War in two communities. She is currently working on a multi-media study of the memory of Sherman’s March, entitled Through the Heart of Dixie: Sherman’s March and America, for which she received a 2007 ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship.  Her website can be found at

Abby Smith Rumsey (Insights from the Scholarly Communication Institute) is a historian and consulting analyst with special interest in the creation, preservation, and use of the cultural record in a variety of media; the impact of digital information technologies on cultural heritage institutions; and the evolving role of information as a public good. She is director of the Scholarly Communication Institute at the University of Virginia. She works with the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in development of its national strategy to identify, collect, and preserve digital content of long-term value. And she is a member of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, serving in addition as the senior writer and editor for the task force’s final report. She has served as an advisor to the ACLS Commission on the Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Previously she worked as director of programs at the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, DC; and at the Library of Congress managing programs relating to preservation of and access to cultural heritage collections. She holds a doctoral degree in Russian history from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities. She has published widely on cultural heritage, preservation, and scholarship in the digital age.

Michael Spinella (JSTOR’s Role in the Changing World of Scholarly Communication) is the Executive Vice President for Global Content Alliances at ITHAKA and serves as the managing director of JSTOR.  He is responsible for the strategic direction and coordination of the Current Scholarship Program, an effort initiated by JSTOR and University of California Press to make current and historical scholarly content available on a single, integrated platform.  Prior to working at JSTOR, Spinella served for twelve years as the Director of Membership and Meetings for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as well as the Circulation Director for the AAAS journal, Science.  During this time, one of his responsibilities was developing the initial business model for Science online personal and site-wide licenses.  He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from The George Washington University, a Master of Arts degree in Literature from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary.

Robert B. Townsend (AHA’s Perspective on the Changing World of Scholarly Communication) is the Assistant Director for Research and Publications at the American Historical Association, where he serves as senior staff assistant to the Association’s Research Division, maintains databases and statistics on the historical profession in the U.S., and oversees print and online publications produced at the AHA headquarters office. He is the author or co-author of over 200 articles on various aspects of history, higher education, and electronic publishing in Perspectives on HistoryAHA Today, Chronicle Review, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Humanities Resource Center. He received his PhD from George Mason University in 2009, and is currently revising his dissertation under the working title “Making History: Scholarship and Professionalization in the Discipline, 1880–1940.”


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