James Estes

Medievalist and Librarian in Washington, DC

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A native and lifelong resident of the Washington, DC area, James Estes has a lifelong passion for education, libraries, and scholarship.

He has more than 20 years’ professional experience in varied library and information centers. He served as a librarian and administrator at Wesley Theological Seminary (in Washington, DC), where he worked first as the information services librarian before being appointed as Library Director. At Wesley he supervised and directed all aspects of the library’s operations (both public and technical services), and was personally responsible for information literacy instruction, collection development, e-resource management, and developing scholarly communications initiatives. As administrative faculty, he was involved in institutional assessment, education research, and instructional design. Prior to Wesley, James managed resources for a US Department of Education-funded information clearinghouse and served as a reference librarian at Montgomery College.

As a scholar he is interested primarily in vernacular medieval religious texts as they explore meaning-making and serve as windows into religious culture and history. His main area of study is the history of spirituality in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, focusing on Old English literature and religious thought in early medieval England. He serves as adjunct Assoc. Professor of Medieval Studies and Church History at Wesley Theological Seminary. He received his PhD from The Catholic University of America, where he studied Christian spirituality and historical theology, with particular interest in medieval English vernacular literature. His current scholarly research (for a monograph under contract with Wipf and Stock Publishers/Pickwick Publications) examines King Alfred the Great's cultural and educational reform as a religious reformation concerned with the restoration of wisdom in early medieval England.

James has participated in numerous academic and professional societies and is actively involved in Atla (formerly the American Theological Library Association), where he has served on Atla’s national Professional Development Committee and the editorial board of Atla’s open access scholarly monograph publications line. He has presented papers at conferences and meetings in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

  • Education
    • The Catholic University of America
    • Wesley Theological Seminary
    • The George Washington University