Nancy Toff is vice president and executive editor in the academic/trade division of Oxford University Press, New York, where she acquires and edits all varieties of history books ranging from monographs to reference books to trade books. She is responsible for several book series, including the Very Short Introductions (on all subjects), Oxford History Handbooks, the New Oxford World History, the Oxford Oral History Series, and the Oxford Series on History and Archives. She was previously editorial director of young adult reference and trade reference at Oxford, and before that was vice president and editor at chief at Chelsea House Publishers. She has also worked at Grove Dictionaries of Music, Time-Life Books, and Silver Burdett Press.
As a scholar, Nancy Toff is considered one of the leading authorities on the history of the flute. She is the author of four books on the subject, most recently Monarch of the Flute: The Life of Georges Barrère (Oxford University Press, 2005); and the third edition of The Flute Book (also from Oxford, 2012), which is a standard text for flute students and performers. She received the Music Library Association's 1997 Dena Epstein Award for Archival and Library Research in American Music, a Sinfonia Foundation research grant, and an American Musicological Society subvention. In 2012 she received the Distinguished Service Award of the National Flute Association.
A frequent and popular speaker at history, library, and music conferences and at universities nationwide, Ms. Toff has served as a consultant to the Library of Congress and Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2021 she completed her third three-year term as president of the New York Flute Club; she has served on its board of directors since 1986 and is also its archivist. She is a graduate of Harvard University.