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) (living work-in-progress 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 after many years.

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 has co-authored two book chapters with Michael P. Williams (in ACRL’s 2019 The Globalized Library and an upcoming ACTLS monograph on graphic novels in libraries).


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

MSI, Library & Information Science (University of Michigan)

BA, History with Honors (University of Pittsburgh)

BS, Computer Science (University of Pittsburgh)


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

Instructor, “DH for East Asian Studies” (Dream Lab, June 2020)


MLA, LLC Japanese Since 1900 (Executive Committee Chair, 2020-21)

Molly Des Jardin

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