The Kluge Chairs are unique in Washington, D.C. Designed for people of great scholarly accomplishment, they are chosen solely for their intellectual and communicative abilities by the Librarian of Congress in consultation with a distinguished Scholars Council. The Kluge Chairs utilize the varied resources of the Library and potentially may speak to a range of concerns within the Congress.
The Kluge Scholars - occupants of the Kluge Chairs - are free to pursue their own research, with access to all the multi-lingual, multi-medial, multi-disciplinary resources of the Library. Appointed for a limited period of time, the only obligations during their residency will be to help craft and participate in some meetings or conversations open to Members of Congress and congressional staff, and to offer at least one public presentation for the broader public policy community in Washington.
There are five broadly defined Kluge Chairs:
- American Law and Governance, focusing on domestic matters of and among the three different branches of government, using the world's largest Law Library and the finest collection anywhere of manuscripts on the formation of the American Republic.
- Countries and Cultures of the North, focusing on North America, Europe, Russia and East Asia, using the immense foreign language collections in the specialized reading rooms of the Jefferson Building.
- Countries and Cultures of the South, focusing on the regions of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and the islands of the Pacific including Australia and New Zealand, using the immense foreign language collections in the specialized reading rooms of the Jefferson Building.
- Technology and Society, focusing on the impact of fast-changing technology on human societies, using the rapidly growing digital on-line resources of the Library as well as the immense "grey literature" of science and technology from many of the world's countries.
- Modern Culture, focusing on modern arts and media and their impact on societal development, using the Library's immense music, film, architecture, literature, multi-media and folklore collections.
Other Distinguished Chairs
The John W. Kluge Center also welcomes and accommodates other distinguished Chairs that have recently been established at the Library, such as the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations, the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education, and the Cary and Ann Maguire Chair.
- The Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Education to focus on the Library's role in education, especially at present on the interaction between the new electronic and traditional artifactual knowledge;
- The Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations to present both a distinguished annual lecturer in international affairs and an annual Kissinger Scholar who will occupy the Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress;
- The Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History to explore the history of America with special attention to the ethical dimensions of domestic economic, political, and social policies.
Taken together, these broadly defined Chairs bring a critical mass of the world's leading thinkers to Washington from all over America and the world. Their presence provides an opportunity for a new type of dialog with political leaders, in an authentically scholarly atmosphere.