Dec 5, 2019
Daniel Woolf is a British/Canadian historian. He served as the 20th Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario from September, 2009 to June, 2019, when he returned to teaching and research. He was previously Professor, Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts.
He studied history at Queen's and Oxford Universities, and is the author of many books, including The Oxford History of Historical Writing, (general editor), 5 vols, (Oxford University Press, 2011–12) and most recently, A Concise History of History, (Cambridge University press, 2019).
Most important to our purposes, he's also a book collector, specializing in 15th-18th century histories. We met at his home near Kingston, Ontario, to talk about, among other things, the evolution of his collection, the poet Ben Johnson, wedding anniversaries, antiquarian books, tythes and local histories, book historian Jonathan Rose, 'things not kings', maps, abebooks and biblio.com, historiography and the history of history, Chronicles, Attic Books, the Schulich-Woolf Rare Book Collection, going cold turkey, and the domestic police.