March 8, 2002 Center for the Book to Sponsor April 11-13 Conference in Philadelphia About the History of Libraries in the U.S.

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189
Public Contact: (202) 707-5221

The Center for the Book is one of four organizational sponsors of a major conference, "The History of Libraries in the United States," that will be hosted by the Library Company of Philadelphia from April 11 to April 13. More than 20 scholars and librarians will present papers that trace the evolution of the library as an institution in diverse American cultural and social contexts before 1920. The other sponsors are Princeton University, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Bibliographical Society of America.

"For the Center for the Book, this conference continues an initiative we undertook in 1996 and 1997 with public lectures by historians Kenneth E. Carpenter and Wayne A. Wiegand that examined the relationship of American library history to U.S. cultural and social history," said Center for the Book director John Y. Cole. "The center is pleased to be able to support and participate in this meeting."

The principal conference sessions are: "Culture and Religion in Early American Libraries," "Collections in History," "What Is a Library?," "Collecting and Preserving Research Libraries," "Libraries and Their Publics," "Forms of Community," "Libraries and Leisure," "American Library History in International Perspective," and "Library History and Book Studies."

For further information about the conference, registration, and accommodations, visit the Web site:

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to use the resources and prestige of the Library to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its program, publications, and the activities of its national affiliates and reading promotion partners, visit its Web site: .


PR 02-028
ISSN 0731-3527