"National Libraries of the World: Interpreting the Past, Shaping the Future," the Library of Congress Bicentennial symposium held on Oct. 23-26 (See Information Bulletin, December 2000), also was designated Library History Seminar X, continuing a 40-year seminar series established by American library historians when the first seminar was held in Tallahassee, Fla., in 1961. John David Marshall of Murfreesboro, Tenn., one of 16 historians to participate in the first Library History Seminar, was an honored guest at Library of Congress on Oct. 23-26.
The 1961 seminar was hosted by Louis Shores at Florida State University 14 years after Mr. Shores and another library-history pioneer, Wayne Shirley, established the American Library History Round Table (now the Library History Round Table) of the American Library Association. At the Library of Congress on June 27, 1998, the Center for the Book hosted a program that marked the 50th anniversary of the Library History Round Table. (See Information Bulletin, December 1998). The papers presented at the program, edited by Andrew B. Wertheimer and Donald G. Davis Jr., were published in the winter 2000 issue of Libraries & Culture (Volume 35). On the occasion of Library History Seminar X, the Center for the Book published Library History Research in America: Essays Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Library History Round Table, a hard bound volume containing the papers and an index (see story, bottom).
On Oct. 23, Dr. Billington, Associate Librarian for Library Services Winston Tabb, Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole and Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel J. Boorstin welcomed some 150 participants and Library of Congress staff attending the sessions. Dr. Billington said that the presentations and discussions for the next four days would "reach out both internationally and back into the past to broaden and enrich all of us." He noted that more than 25 distinguished library historians from 12 countries and 32 national library directors would be speakers and panelists. He asked participants to explore the potential of digital and other technologies to create a global library, while preserving, restoring and honoring historical collections and unique traditions.
The first two days of the symposium, organized by Mr. Cole, focused on historical topics, particularly "Library History in 2000: The State of the Art" (Oct. 23), and "National Library Development" (Oct. 24). The final two days, organized and chaired by Mr. Tabb, emphasized current and future issues facing national libraries, especially digital activities.
On Oct. 23, leading library historians and editors of major journals spoke about changes in the field of library history and current research in their respective countries and fields. Speakers included Boris Volodin, Russia; Huanwen Cheng, China; Peter Hoare, England; Peter Vodosek, Germany; Keith Manley, England; Dominique Varry, France; Donald G. Davis Jr., U.S.; Magnus Torstensson, Sweden; Edward A. Goedeken, U.S.; Peter McNally, Canada; Phyllis Dain, U.S.; Paul Sturges, England; Wayne A. Wiegand, U.S.; Alistair Black, England; and William V. Jackson, U.S.
Sessions on Oct. 24 began with keynote talks by Maurice Line, editor of Alexandria: The Journal of National & International Library and Information Issues, and Giuseppe Vitiello, program adviser, Electronic Publishing, Books and Archives, Palais de l'Europe-Counseil l'Europe. Mr. Line told how his view about national libraries has changed since his first involvement with them in 1970, and Mr. Vitiello addressed "National Libraries in the Age of Globalization."
Speakers during the day addressed specific topics regarding national library development. They included: Hideshige Hara, Japan, "National Libraries and Copyright Deposit: To Create a Legacy for Mankind;" Rebecca Knuth, U.S., "One People, One Culture: Libraries and Nationalism;" Hermina G.B. Anghelescu, Romania, "The National Library of Romania: A Continuation of Old Traditions or a Communist Creation?;" Jorgen Svane-Mikkelsen, Denmark, "Historical Development of National Library Tasks in Denmark;" Gwynneth Evans, Canada, "The National Library of Canada;" Sun Beixen and Huanwen Cheng, China, "The National Library of China;" William V. Jackson, U.S., "National Libraries in Latin America;" Paul Sturges, England, "The Poverty of Librarianship: National Library Services of Anglophone Africa;" Irene Owens, U.S., "Two National Libraries and Ten ‘Homelands:' A Brief History of the 1999 Merger of the National Library of South Africa;" and Mary Niles Maack, U.S., "National Libraries in Francophone Africa."
Overall perspectives about national library development were presented by Ian Willison, University of London; Martine Poulain, Universite de Paris X: Kenneth E. Carpenter, Harvard University Libraries; and David McKitterick, Trinity College, Cambridge, England. The final session was a slide presentation, "The National Library Debate in 19th Century America," by Mr. Cole and Nancy E. Gwinn, director of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.
New Book about Research in Library History Published by the Library of Congress
Library History Research in America: Essays Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Library History Round Table has been published by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The 279-page hard-bound volume contains papers presented at the Library of Congress on June 27, 1998, when the Center for the Book hosted a program marking the 50th anniversary of the American Library Association's Library History Round Table. The papers, edited by Andrew B. Wertheimer and Donald G. Davis Jr., appeared in the winter 2000 issue (Volume 35) of the journal Libraries & Culture, which is published by the University of Texas Press. The book is enhanced by a 21-page index prepared by students in the Library and Information Science Program at Wayne State University in Detroit, under the supervision of Hermina G. B. Anghelescu and supported by the family of Oivind M. Hovde (1911-1986). The volume includes a preface by Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole and an introduction by the editors.
The 16 essays in the book are divided into four sections: "Library History Research in America"; "Critical Approach to Library History"; "Pioneers of the Library History Round Table"; "New Directions for Library History"; "Library History and Cognate Fields"; and "The Library History Round Table and the State of Library History Research."
Library History Research in America is available for $35 from Oak Knoll Press, 310 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720; telephone (302) 328-7232; toll-free (800) 996-2556; fax (302) 328-7274. It can be ordered online at: www.oakknoll.com/pressrel/libhisr.html. It also is available in the Library of Congress Sales Shop.
Ms. Wolfe is in the office of the Director of Operations in Library Services.