John R. Hébert, formerly Senior Specialist in Hispanic bibliography in the Hispanic Division, has been appointed to the position of Chief of the Geography and Map Division. He succeeds Ralph E. Ehrenberg, who retired in July 1998.
"Mr. Hébert brings many strengths to this position," said Associate Librarian for Library Services Winston Tabb. "His knowledge of geography, cartographic and geographic information systems and his curatorial and administrative background at the Library of Congress make him ideally suited for this critical management position. He is a welcome addition to the Library Services' management team."
Mr. Hébert (pictured at left, photo by Erika Wissolik) began his career at the Library in 1969 as a senior reference specialist in the Geography and Map Division. In 1974, he moved to the Hispanic Division, where he maintained a continuing relationship with the collections and work of the Geography and Map Division. He was project director of the Library's Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Program for which he curated the exhibition "1492: An Ongoing Voyage." He also was responsible for the publications associated with the exhibition, The Hispanic World 1492-1898 and 1492: An Ongoing Voyage, which he edited.
Mr. Hébert regularly contributed to the Cartography Section contributor to the annual Handbook of Latin American Studies, compiled in the Library's Hispanic Division. With the support of a private research grant in 1998, Mr. Hébert and a colleague completed The Luso-Hispanic World in Maps: A Selective Guide to Manuscript Maps to 1900 in the Collections of the Library of Congress, which identified and described more than 1,000 manuscript maps, primarily in the collections of the Geography and Map Division. It will be published by the Library. His other publications include Panoramic Maps of Anglo-American Cities, Population Maps of the Western Hemisphere and The Library of Congress Hispanic and Portuguese Collections: An Illustrated Guide.
Mr. Hébert has served in many roles in his numerous professional memberships and associations. He was president and vice president of the Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials in 1983-1984 and 1982-1983, respectively. He is currently a member of the advisory council for the People of America Foundation. His other professional associations and memberships include the Latin American Studies Association, the American Historical Association, the Conference on Latin American History, the Society for the History of Discoveries, the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars, the National Hispanic Quincentennial Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Jubilee Commission.
He has a bachelor of arts degree in history from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and earned master's and doctorate degrees in Latin American history from Georgetown University.