Marguerite Ragnow Curator

Position title
Libraries department
James Ford Bell Library


Dr. Marguerite Ragnow is curator of the James Ford Bell Library, a collection of rare books, maps, manuscripts and other documents that document the history and impact of trade and cultural exchange prior to ca. 1800 CE.  She also is on the graduate faculties of History, Early Modern Studies, and Medieval Studies; a co-PI and a member of the governing board of the Mellon-funded Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World; and a member of the advisory board/executive committee for the Centers for Medieval Studies and Early Modern History.

She is heavily engaged in the teaching and learning mission of the University, and under her direction the Bell Library serves as an interactive laboratory for hands-on learning.  The Bell Library collection ranges from 15th-century merchant correspondence to accounts of Captain James Cook's 18th-century voyages of discovery; from a 5th-century itinerary for travel from Cairo to Constantinople to the first printed books to the archives of the Swedish East India Company.  She assists researchers in finding the right materials for their projects, introduces students and others to the collection through lectures and presentations, and gives talks to community groups whose members might have an interest in the subject.  She regularly teaches the James Ford Bell Library Seminar in Comparative World History, ca. 1000 – 1800:  An Introduction to Archival Research for graduate students and advanced undergraduates; she also is actively engaged in the teaching and study of premodern food culture and the history of the book.


MA Medieval History, University of Minnesota

Ph.D. with Distinction; Medieval History, sub field Early Modern World Trade; minors in Medieval Studies and Latin, University of Minnesota