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LIS 950: Libraries and community

The purpose of this seminar is to explore an important topic in library and information studies in depth — in all its intertwined historical, cultural, philosophical, and political aspects — through a graduate reading/discussion seminar. The topic varies each time the course is taught; this time around, we will focus on "libraries and community"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

project proposal

I'm thinking about the German Book Exhibit held in Chicago in 1925 as my project topic. This exhibit was organized by Theodore Wesley Koch, at the time the librarian of Northwestern University. The exhibit was brought together fairly quickly and was promoted as the first exhibit of German books since the war. A similar (or maybe the same) exhibit was held somewhat later at Columbia University. A list of the books was published, and information about the exhibit appeared in the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times, as well as in library periodicals.

The idea of a book collection as a kind of ambassador for the acceptance of German history and culture back into the mainstream community intrigues me. If I can I'd like to find additional information about censorship or withdrawal of German materials from libraries during World War I so as to place the exhibit in a bigger context. The list of books themselves also is interesting: since the materials were selected in cooperation with the German Bookseller's association, do they tell us something what seemed appropriate for this kind of display? What kind of aspirations might have been part of creation of this exhibit?

I have looked at Library Literature, the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times for sources from the time, along with the booklet of "notes" and bibliography from the exhibits organizer, Theodore Wesley Koch. The Milwaukee Public Library has the only set I can find in the Midwest of the journal of the German booksellers association from these years so I'm hoping to go there and see if there is anything there I can use. I'm also going to try to get to the ALA Archives in Champaign- Urbana, since I'm going there anyhow in October, to see if there is useful information there.


Barbara

1 Comments:

Blogger k8 said...

I tried to post this earlier, but apparently it didn't take.

I remember reading in Library Journal issues (from WWI years) lists of books and journals from german publishers that were just released from the British censors for distribution in the U.S. I don't remember exactly which issues they were in (and there were multiple publications in multiple issues), but that might help. The titles were primarily in German. Reading/scanning them was the first I had put my German degree to use in a very long time.

2:26 PM  

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