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Allen C. Benson, Ph.D.

Allen C. Benson, Ph.D.

Library Director
Henry E. Eccles Library and Naval Historical Collection
(401) 841-2641
(401) 841-6491


As Library Director and Professor, Dr. Allen C. Benson oversees planning and daily operations for the U. S. Naval War College’s Henry E. Eccles Library and Naval Historical Collection. Within Library and Information Science, Dr. Benson focuses on Library Administration and Management and Archival Theory and Practice. As a researcher, his interests include ontological engineering, knowledge representation and organization, and philosophy of image. 
Dr. Benson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in musical performance from the University of Minnesota (1974), a Masters in Library and Information Science (MLS) degree from the University of Alabama (1993), and in August 2011, he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh. His Ph.D. dissertation. Relationship Analysis of  Image Descriptions: An Ontological, Content Analytic Approach, examines how humans express relationships when describing images. He is currently working on the ontology of the photograph and ontology-based representation in the Scone knowledge-base system. He performs this work with Dr. Scott E. Fahlman, Carnegie Mellon University. 
Dr. Benson has authored six books. His first book, The Complete Internet Companion for Librarians (1995) was ranked byLibrary Journal as one of the library profession’s most outstanding pieces of literature. Recent journal articles include “Capturing relationships expressed in image descriptions: A preliminary investigation,” BiD: textos universitaris de biblioteconomia i documentacio, Number 27 (2011); “OntoPhoto and the Role of Ontology in Organizing Knowledge" (2011) Knowledge Organization, 38(2); “Killed Negatives: The Unseen Photographic Archives” (2010) Archivaria, 68, 1-37; and “The Archival Photograph and Its Meaning: Formalisms for Modeling Images” (2009) Journal of Archival Organization, 7 (4).

Since 1990, Dr. Benson has directed two public library systems and two academic library systems. His most recent directorship was held at Washington & Jefferson College (2002-2007). Prior to this, Dr. Benson served as Adjunct Instructor and Artist in Residence in the music departments at Augsburg College, St. Olaf, and the University of Minnesota, Duluth. He concluded his career in music after touring with the United States Military Academy Band, West Point (1979-1982).

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