Marilyn Dunn is the Lia Gelin Poorvu Executive Director of the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at Harvard University and librarian for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Dunn earned her bachelor's degree in English literature at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York, followed by a master's degree in library and information science at Simmons College in Boston. She later earned a master's in English literature from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
She began her career at Mount Holyoke College and was librarian and director of information resources at Hartwick College. She has participated professionally at the national level in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, serving on that organization's College Library Section Board and Women's Studies Section Board. In 2001, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Routledge Inc. recognized Dunn's many contributions to her field with the ACRL WSS Award for Significant Achievement in Women's Studies Librarianship. At Harvard, she serves on the University Library Council and chairs the Manuscript and Archives Standing Committee.