I am currently serving as a data integration specialist (aka data wrangling) on a 2020 U.S. election research project at the Annenberg Public Policy Center. My background is interdisciplinary, and I formerly combined my expertise in book history, fluency in Japanese, and background in information science in a career as a librarian (primarily at the Penn Libraries, working with the Japanese and Korean collections). While data science and area studies librarianship may seem unrelated, the same drive brought me to both: doing socially impactful work using computer and information science.

In addition to my work as a librarian, I taught the seminar East Asian Digital Humanities (EALC111/511) (living work-in-progress syllabus PDF at mollydesjardin.com) at Penn in Spring 2018. (Please feel free to reuse my related documents because I don’t plan on offering the course again, and there is certainly a need and interest on the part of students!) In 2014, I also co-founded WORD LAB, a library-based text analysis learning community, and served as an organizer for over five years.

My book history work focuses on modern and contemporary Japanese print “stuff,” ranging from Meiji (1868-1912) publishing to 21st-century urban exploration publications. I have a particular interest in theories and practices of authorship, as well as anthologizing (well, that is not always the appropriate word for the types of collections I am studying, but “compilation” doesn’t quite convey it the same way in English!). My first peer-reviwed article, “Inventing Saikaku: Collectors, Provenance, and the Social Creation of an Author,” appeared in Book History v.20 (2017) and I co-authored two book chapters with Penn Libraries colleague Michael P. Williams (in ACRL’s 2019 The Globalized Library and an upcoming ALCTS volume 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)


Online tutorials, guides, and resources for learning about East Asian DH and text analysis with Japanese-language sources

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


Co-founder and organizer (2014-2020), WORD LAB text analysis learning community

Co-founder and organizer (2019-present), DH Japan

Molly Des Jardin

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