Abby Smith has held various positions in libraries and research institutions in the past 20 years. She is currently director of programs at the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, D.C., which she joined in 1997. She is responsible for development and management of collaborative actions with key library and archival institutions to ensure long-term access to our cultural and scholarly heritage, including the creation of technical reports, newsletters, and other informational products that contribute to the analysis of and solution to preservation and access problems in all formats, including digital. Before that, she worked at the Library of Congress (1988-97), first as a consultant to the special collections research divisions, then coordinating several cultural and academic programs in the office of the Librarian of Congress. As assistant to the Associate Librarian for Library Services, she directed a preservation microfilming program in the former Soviet Union, curated three exhibitions of Russian library and archival treasures from the former Soviet Union, and was curator and project director for the Library's first-ever permanent exhibition of its holdings, Treasures of the Library of Congress. She worked closely with the Library's Congressional office and also the private sector advisory council of the Library, and represented the United States on UNESCO's International Committee on the Modernization of the Russian State Library.
Dr. Smith has taught at Harvard and the Johns Hopkins Universities. She has worked as a free-lance writer and as a consultant to rare book collectors. Trained as a historian of Russia and of modern intellectual history, she has B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University and has held several fellowships, including Fulbright and IREX traveling grants.
Dr. Smith has written and lectured widely on the subject of library preservation, the management of cultural assets, and the transformation of research institutions under the influence of new information technologies.