Erik Rau is Director of Library Services for Hagley Museum and Library, which documents this history of Americans‘ experience with the free enterprise system, especially businesses, technology, and industrial design. He oversees all of the Library’s operations, including its collections development and management, conservation, programming and outreach. He joined the staff at Hagley in July 2011. He regularly speaks to groups about the importance of preserving records documenting the experience of business, innovation, and enterprise.
Raised in Oregon, Rau trained in industrial engineering as well as science and technology studies (STS) as a Stanford University undergraduate and earned his doctorate in History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published on the history of operations research and the systems sciences, particularly their spread throughout industry, libraries, and the military since World War II. Between 1997 and 2011, he developed and taught a wide variety of history courses to graduates and undergraduates at Drexel University. Since 2012, he has co-directed the Delaware Public Humanities Institute (DelPHI) at the University of Delaware, an intensive two-week introduction to public engagement strategies for advanced humanities graduate students interested in material culture studies. Rau has also served on the board of the Delaware Humanities Council from 2007 to 2014, and as its chairman during 2012 and 2013.