Robert Darnton  

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Robert Darnton (born May 10, 1939) is an American cultural historian and academic librarian who specializes in 18th-century France. Darnton is a pioneer in the growing field of the history of the book. One of his books is The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France (1996).



Darnton was born in New York City. He graduated from Phillips Academy in 1957 and Harvard University in 1960, attended Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship, and earned a PhD (DPhil) in history from Oxford in 1964, where he studied with Richard Cobb, among others. The title of his thesis was Trends in radical propaganda on the eve of the French Revolution (1782–1788). He worked as reporter at The New York Times from 1964 to 1965. He was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1965 to 1968. Joining the Princeton University faculty in 1968, he was appointed Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of European History and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 1982. He was president of the International Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies from 1987 to 1991, where he founded the East-West Seminar, now continued as the International Seminar for Early Career Scholars.

Darnton was a trustee of the Oxford University Press from 1994 to 2007. He is a trustee of the New York Public Library, where he designed and helped launch the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.

On July 1, 2007, he transferred to emeritus status at Princeton, and was appointed Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the Harvard University Library, succeeding Sidney Verba. As University Librarian, he co-founded the Digital Public Library of America and he designed the digital archive Colonial North America: Worlds of Change. In January 2016, Ann Blair succeeded him as the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor.

Darnton is a pioneer in the field of the history of the book, and has written about electronic publishing.


His brother is the retired New York Times editor and author John Darnton, and his father was the war correspondent Byron Darnton.


See also

Linking in as of 2023

1672 in literature, Age of Enlightenment, Akira Iriye, Albert Bushnell Hart, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Allan Nevins, American Antiquarian Society, American Historical Association, Andrew C. McLaughlin, Andrew Dickson White, Anthony Grafton, Antoine de Rivarol, Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr., Arthur S. Link, Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., Barbara D. Metcalf, Barbara Weinstein (historian), Benjamin Wadsworth, Bernadotte Everly Schmitt, Bernard Bailyn, Book censorship, Books in France, Boston Book Festival, Byron Darnton, C. Vann Woodward, Carl Bridenbaugh, Carl L. Becker, Carl Neumann Degler, Carlton J. H. Hayes, Caroline Walker Bynum, Cat-burning, Causes of the French Revolution, Censorship, Centre for the History of the Book, Charles A. Beard, Charles Coffin (writer), Charles Francis Adams Jr., Charles Gibson (historian), Charles Homer Haskins, Charles Howard McIlwain, Charles Kendall Adams, Charles McLean Andrews, Charles Théveneau de Morande, Chicago Humanities Festival, Clifford Geertz, Conyers Read, Crane Brinton, Cultural history, Culture of France, Dana Carleton Munro, Daniel Roche (historian), Darnton, Darnton, Robert (redirect page), David H. Pinkney, David Herlihy, David M. Potter, Dexter Perkins, Digital Public Library of America, Edward Channing, Edward Eggleston, Edward Potts Cheyney, Encyclopédie, Enfer, Eric Foner, Evarts Boutell Greene, Falling Walls, Figurative system of human knowledge, Frederic C. Lane, Frederic Wakeman, Frederick Jackson Turner, Gabrielle M. Spiegel, George Bancroft, George Burton Adams, George Frisbie Hoar, George Lincoln Burr, George Park Fisher, Goldwin Smith, Gordon A. Craig, Gordon Wright (historian), Grub Street in France, Gutenberg Prize of the International Gutenberg Society and the City of Mainz, Guy Stanton Ford, H. Morse Stephens, Hajo Holborn, Harvard Library, Henry Adams, Henry Charles Lea, Henry Osborn Taylor, Herbert Eugene Bolton, Historiography of the United States, History of books, History of mentalities, Huizinga Lecture, J. Franklin Jameson, J. R. McNeill, Jacqueline Jones, Jacques Pierre Brissot, James Burrill Angell, James Ford Rhodes, James G. Randall, James Harvey Robinson, James Henry Breasted, James J. Sheehan, James M. McPherson, James Schouler, James Westfall Thompson, Jan E. Goldstein, Jean Jules Jusserand, John Bach McMaster, John Darnton, John Henry Coatsworth, John Hope Franklin, John Jay (lawyer), John King Fairbank, Jonathan Spence, Joseph C. Miller, Joseph Strayer, Journal of My Life, Joyce Appleby, Julian P. Boyd, Julie; or, The New Heloise, Justin Winsor, Kenneth Pomeranz, Kenneth Scott Latourette, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Laurence M. Larson, Leo Gershoy Award, Lewis Hanke, Libelle (literary genre), Libertine, Libertine novel, Linda K. Kerber, List of historians, List of librarians, Lloyd James Austin, Louis R. Gottschalk, Louis R. Harlan, Louise A. Tilly, Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Lyell Lectures, Lynn Hunt, Lynn Thorndike, Lynn Townsend White Jr., Marie Besnard, Marie-Claude Felton, Mary Beth Norton, Mary Lindemann, Mathieu-François Pidansat de Mairobert, Max Farrand, McKenzie Lectures, Mercure de France, Merle Curti, Michael Rostovtzeff, Microhistory, Natalie Zemon Davis, National Book Award for Nonfiction, National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, National Humanities Medal, Nellie Neilson, New York Public Library Main Branch, Newberry Library, Olivier Duhamel, Panizzi Lectures, Paris Institute for Advanced Study, Patrick Manning (historian), Peter Gay, Philip D. Curtin, Prix mondial Cino Del Duca, Republic of Letters, Richard B. Morris, Richard Cobb, Richard Salter Storrs, Robert Livingston Schuyler, Robert Roswell Palmer, Roy Franklin Nichols, Samuel Eliot Morison, Samuel Flagg Bemis, Sidney Bradshaw Fay, Simeon Eben Baldwin, Sociology of the Internet, Steal This Film, Susan L. Mizruchi, The Cheese and the Worms, The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, The Great Cat and Dog Massacre, The Great Cat Massacre, The Morning Post, The Three Enchanted Princes, The Year 2440, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas C. Cochran (historian), Thomas C. Holt, Thomas J. Wertenbaker, Tore Frängsmyr, Tyler E. Stovall, University of Neuchâtel, Vicki L. Ruiz, Walter Prescott Webb, William Archibald Dunning, William Cronon, William Dodd (ambassador), William Frederick Poole, William H. McNeill (historian), William J. Bouwsma, William L. Langer, William Leuchtenburg, William Linn Westermann, William Milligan Sloane, William Roscoe Thayer, William Wirt Henry, Wm. Roger Louis, Women in the Enlightenment, Woodrow Wilson, Worthington C. Ford

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