By JOHN Y. COLE
"Books, Libraries, Reading, and Publishing in the Cold War," a 298-page book of essays, has been published by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The volume contains 20 scholarly papers presented by library historians at an international conference in Paris, June 11-12, 1998.
Essays and their authors include: "The Overseas Libraries Controversy and the Freedom to Read: U.S. Librarians and Publishers Confront Joseph McCarthy," by Louise S. Robbins; "The Effect of the Cold War on Librarianship in China," by Cheng Huanwen; "U.S. Youth Services Librarians and Cold War Censorship, 1946-1955," by Christine Jenkins; "Reading in the Context of Censorship in the Soviet Union," by Valeria D. Stelmakh; and "Cold War Librarianship: Soviet and American Library Activities in Support of National Foreign Policy, 1946-1991," by Pamela Spence Richards.
The papers, edited by Hermina G.B. Anghelescu and Martine Poulain, were originally published in the Winter 2001 issue (Volume 36/1) of Libraries & Culture: A Journal of Library History, edited by Donald G. Davis Jr., and published by the University of Texas Press. Anghelescu is assistant professor in the Library and Information Science Program at Wayne State University. Poulain is the general conservator of the libraries and director of Mediadix, University of Paris. As a sociologist, she has published many articles on the sociology of reading, the history of libraries, and the history of censorship.
The book is dedicated to Pamela Spence Richards (1941-1999) of Rutgers University, an energetic historian who, with Poulain and Marie-Noelle Frachon, organized the 1998 conference on which this volume is based. It includes a biographical sketch of Richards by Betty Turock of the School of Communication, Information & Library Studies, Rutgers University; tributes to Richards from Donald G. Davis Jr., Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, and Valeria Stelmakh, Russian State Library; and an index to the volume prepared by students in the Library and Information Science Program, Wayne State University, Detroit.
The 1998 conference was organized under the auspices of the Library History Round Table of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), École nationale supérieure des sciences de l'information et des bibliothèques (ENSSIB), and the Villeurbanne Centre de Formation aux Carrières de Bibliothèques (CFCB), with assistance from the IFLA Section on Reading.
The image on the book's dust jacket is from a 1960 poster in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress (negative number LC-USZC4-3344). It depicts an idealized Soviet man crushing a militarist within a book of "history." The translated poster title is: "A new, just society is coming to replace the obsolete, capitalist society."
"Books, Reading, Libraries, and Publishing in the Cold War," a 298-page cloth-bound book, is available for $25 from Oak Knoll Press, 310 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720; telephone (302) 328-7232; toll-free (800) 996-2556; fax (302) 328-7274. The book can be ordered online at www.oakknoll.com/.
This writer chaired one of the sessions at the 1998 conference in Paris, continuing the Center for the Book's involvement in projects examining the influence of books, reading, and libraries from World War II through the end of the Cold War. These projects include: the 1983 celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Armed Services Editions (1943-1947), followed by publication of "Books in Action: The Armed Services Editions" (1984); a conference held in Moscow on Oct. 29-31, 1991 on "The National Library in the Life of the Nation: The Lenin State Library and the Library of Congress"; "Publishing and Book Culture in Russia and the New States: Challenges for the West," a conference at the Library of Congress on March 9-10, 1993 (see Information Bulletin, April 19, 1993); and an international conference, "Libraries and Reading in Times of Cultural Change," held in Vologda, Russia on June 18-22, 1996 (see Information Bulletin, Sept. 16, 1996).
John Y. Cole is the director of the Center for the Book.