April 10, 2009 Historian Andreas Daum Discusses Alexander von Humboldt at Library of Congress on May 6

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

Alexander von Humboldt achieved cultural hero status in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. His travels, experiments and knowledge transformed Western science. A lecture at the Library of Congress will examine the influence and legacy of the German naturalist and explorer.

Andreas Daum will present “Mourning, Celebrating, Revisiting: Alexander von Humboldt in the United States, 1859-2009” at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event is sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center and the European Division at the Library of Congress, the German Historical Institute and the German Embassy. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Daum is a professor in the Department of History at University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. The lecture is part of a week-long series of events in Washington, D.C., from May 2 to May 7, titled “Alexander von Humboldt – Remapping Global Perspectives.”

Between 1799 and 1804, von Humboldt explored Latin America and wrote about his scientific observations. Later, in 1845, he wrote the five-volume “Kosmos,” which attempted to unify the various branches of scientific knowledge. An extraordinary researcher, von Humboldt’s goal was “to examine the interweaving and interacting of all forces of nature.” Von Humboldt also was an early advocate of human rights and a pioneer in the field of ecology.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.

The European Division is responsible for providing reference and for developing the Library’s collections relating to continental Europe except for Iberia and the British Isles. Its European Reading Room should be the starting point for readers whose interests concern European countries other than Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and Ireland. For more information on the European Division’s resources and services, visit www.loc.gov/rr/european/.


PR 09-075
ISSN 0731-3527