Wilma Minty is a native of Lanarkshire, Scotland. She was educated at Coatbridge High School and St. Andrews University where she gained a Master of Theology (Old Testament and New Testament). She came to Oxford in 1976 to pursue graduate work in Cuneiform and Targumic Studies but was drawn to work in its libraries rather than the academic mainstream. In 1978 she was appointed Librarian of the (then) newly combined collections of the University’s Theology Faculty and of Pusey House on the site of the present St. Cross College. As the University began to introduce library automation on a large scale in the eighties she was appointed Head of Catalogue Support Services in the Bodleian’s Technical Services Department (1989). This post involved not only training library staff throughout Oxford in what were for many new descriptive and subject cataloguing standards but also managing the considerable volume of retrospective conversion within the Bodleian. Subsequently, as Head of Acquisitions Management (2000), she took on responsibility for the Bodleian’s legal deposit and foreign accessions operations. As the University’s involvement with international standards grew she was involved in connecting with library professionals worldwide (particularly in the United States where she was a regular delegate at American Library Association meetings).
In 2007, with the emphasis now on outreach and higher public profile, she became the Bodleian’s Curator for Special Events and Public Programmes, a diverse role which included organising lecture programmes, coordinating the library’s collaboration with the Oxford Literary Festival and Shakespeare’s Globe on Tour, arranging special events for Bodley’s Librarian and “handling” a stream of eminent visitors.
On retirement from the Bodleian in 2016, she was delighted to be given the opportunity of returning to the “coalface” of library work (particularly in a subject field familiar to her) and of overseeing the development of the Hall’s collection. The work in this regard has advanced well in four major areas: retrospective conversion of the card catalogue (just under a third now on SOLO); re-organisation of the periodical holdings (disposal of “dead” serials and consolidation of dispersed runs in the Periodicals Room); collection development (the reshaping of the collection to create space and to develop key areas for acquisitions, namely Modern Catholic Theology, Jesuit Studies and Spirituality, Integral Ecology, Catholic Social Thought and stewardship of the Special Collections (Incunables have been boxed).