Scotland Pedestrian Crash Kills Globally Renowned Philadelphia Scholar, Princeton Librarian

A doctor from Philadelphia who has been working as a librarian at Princeton University but known globally for his scholarly work has died following a pedestrian crash in Scotland.

Dr. William Noel.

Dr. William Noel.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Penn Libraries

William Noel, 58, was struck by a Citroen Relay van in the evening hours of Wednesday, April 10 in Edinburgh, police in Scotland said. He was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, where he died of his injuries on Monday, April 29, police said.

The driver of the van, a 40-year-old man, was arrested and released pending further enquiries.

According to his bio on the Princeton website, Noel is a "curator and librarian who specializes in the study of the medieval and Renaissance European book, and in the application of digital technologies to humanist study. 

Noel was the John T. Maltsberger III ’55 Associate University Librarian for Special Collections in Princeton University Library, and Chair of the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries.

Noel made an indelible impact in his work to digitize and data-mine the pre-modern manuscripts of the mid-Atlantic, his Princeton bio continues. 

Noel attended Cambridge University, having earned both his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees. He held a postdoctoral fellowship from the British Academy "built a global reputation as a passionate advocate for open data, pioneering the presentation of machine-readable, openly licensed datasets of digitized medieval manuscripts on the web," his bio on the Penn Libraries website says. In 2014, he delivered the prestigious McKenzie Lecture at Oxford.

In 2019, Noel was appointed Associate Vice Provost for External Partnerships at Penn Libraries. He held a wide array of scholarly positions including Vice Chair of the Philadelphia Area Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL); served on the Hidden Collections grant review panel for the Council on Library and Information Resources; Executive Editor of Manuscript Studies, the Schoenberg Institute’s journal on global manuscript studies in the digital age, Penn Libraries says.

He was also on the faculty of the Rare Book School of the University of Virginia, and was an adjunct professor in the History of Art Department at Penn, Penn Libraries continued.

to follow Daily Voice Northern Valley and receive free news updates.