Dean of Penrose Library at the University of Denver since 1992, Nancy Allen has had nearly 40 years of library experience. Prior to becoming the Dean of Penrose, she served as the Assistant Director for Public Services at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO; was Associate Director for Services at Wayne State University; and held several administrative positions at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
Allen really became involved in the world of digitization in 1998, on a retreat with the Colorado Regional Library System of directors. Nancy Bowles, the state librarian, and Allen discussed how the Denver Public Library had a great digitization initiative. Allen and Bowles thought the state should implement a more collaborative approach to digitization and encourage the sharing of expertise and information. They took the idea for this initiative and wrote it into a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. Thanks to that first LSTA grant, the Colorado Digitization Project (CDP) was born.
Over the next several years, the CDP began to share its content with museums, archives, historical societies, and libraries. This was Allen’s true beginning and initiation into the CDP and the world of digitization. Prior to the creation of the CDP, libraries and museums were unable to pool resources and discover what they have in common. The CDP enabled them to work in partnership and join forces. The collaboration was the most valuable contribution of the CDP over its ten years of independent existence.
Allen served as chair of the CDP Board in 2003, 2004, and 2007. She was principal investigator for several major IMLS and LSTA grants in support of various projects for the CDP that now exceed over $2.3 million. She has authored, co-authored, and edited 4 monographs, 19 articles and 7 chapters, most notably, “Business Planning for Cultural Heritage Institutions”, which she co-authored with Liz Bishoff. Allen has written on an array of library topics ranging from computer-based library instruction to research resources for the study of cinema and television to library-museum collaboration for digitization of primary resource material held by cultural heritage organizations. She recently served as a member of the Association of College and Research Libraries Board of Directors. Allen is currently a member of the Boards of the Center for Research Libraries and the Bibliographical Center for Research (BCR) and of the American Library Association’s Governing Council. Nancy holds an MS in Library Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana.