Eric Wakin

Deputy Director/ Director of Library & Archives | Research Fellow
Research Team: 

Eric Wakin is the deputy director of the Hoover Institution and the Director of the Institution’s library and archives, overseeing their strategic direction and operations.

Wakin is the author of Anthropology Goes to War: Professional Ethics and Counterinsurgency in Thailand. His current research interest is guns and gun control in the nineteenth-century United States and he is revising a manuscript titled "From Flintlock to ‘Tramps' Terror’: Guns and Gun Control in Nineteenth-Century New York City.” He has also coauthored a number of walking-tour books and travel guides.

Before coming to Hoover, Wakin was the Herbert H. Lehman Curator for American History and the Curator of Manuscripts at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Columbia University, where he also taught courses in the History Department on public history, memory and narrative, archives and knowledge, and theory.

He has also worked in business development, competitive intelligence, strategic communications, and digital strategy at Ernst & Young, IBM Custom Publishing, Kroll, PaulHastings, and Technology Investor. He continues to advise corporate and nonprofit entities on history and archive-related issues and consults on leadership and operational effectiveness in libraries and special collections.

Wakin received a BA in English literature from Columbia University; an MA in Southeast Asian studies and an MA in political science from the University of Michigan, where he was a FLAS Fellow; and a PhD in history from Columbia, where he was a Richard Hofstadter Fellow and a President’s Fellow.

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Recent Commentary


Eric Wakin On Archiving, Preservation, And History

by Russ Roberts, Eric Wakinvia EconTalk
Monday, September 19, 2016

What does an x-ray of Hitler's skull have in common with a jar of Ronald Reagan's jelly beans? They are both part of the Hoover Institution archives. Eric Wakin, Director of the Library and Archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what it's like to be an archivist.

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Technology and the Archives: Viruses, Digitization, GoogleBooks—and the End of Paper?

by Eric Wakinvia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Eric Wakin, the Robert H. Malott Director of Library & Archives at Hoover, discusses digitization of Hoover’s archival materials.

Open Book

Special: Miller, Hanushek, and Wakin on the John Batchelor Show

by Henry I. Miller, Eric Hanushek, Eric Wakinvia John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In conjunction with a special live taping of the John Batchelor Show at the Hoover Spring Retreat, John Batchelor and Marry Kissel of the Wall Street Journal hosted Hoover fellow Henry Miller, Hoover senior fellow Eric Hanushek, and Hoover research fellow and the Director to Library and Archives Eric Wakin. First, Miller discusses the FDA and so-called “franken-fish”; second, Hanushek discusses national education policy; finally Wakin discusses library collections that “got away.”