The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Joseph-James “J.J.” Ahern is a senior archivist at the University Archives and Records Center. He is responsible for the collections management of the University’s historic collections – which includes the appraisal, accessioning, and processing of historically significant records and personal papers. J.J. is also responsible for the Archives’ disaster plan and mission continuity program– for which he holds Penn Continuity Professional Certification Level I. Additional responsibilities include assisting with public services and exhibitions.

J.J. is a graduate of Rutgers University - Camden with a Master of Arts in Public History and a Bachelor of Arts in History. He has worked for such notable institutions as the American Philosophical Society Library, and the Atwater Kent Museum – The History Museum of Philadelphia; as well as interning at the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. J.J. has also been a consulting historian to the Pennsylvania Hospital Historic Collections, National Archives and Records Administration - Mid-Atlantic Region, the James and Ann Whitall House, and the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission.

J. J. has focused his scholarly research in U.S. military and naval history, ranging from the American Revolution to World War II. He published Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, a photographic look at the historic shipyard located on League Island. Additionally, J.J. has published articles in American Neptune, International Journal of Naval History, Encyclopedia of New Jersey, Encyclopedia of the Atomic Age, Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences, and The Grog Ration: A Journal of Navy Medical History and Culture. He is also a book reviewer for the Army Historical Foundation, Naval Historical Foundation, and Maryland Historical Society.