September 7, 2022 Library of Congress Appoints New Director of the John W. Kluge Center

Press Contact: Bill Ryan,

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Kevin Butterfield as director of the John W. Kluge Center. A noted historian, Butterfield brings two decades of experience teaching, writing and directing major research centers.

“We’re thrilled to have Kevin Butterfield joining our team at the Library of Congress,” Hayden said. “His award-winning record of leadership in the field of early U.S. history speaks for itself and is a perfect fit for an institution dedicated to the preservation and understanding of our national story.”

Butterfield replaces John Haskell, who retired as Kluge Center director in January and was succeeded in an acting capacity by Brent Yacobucci, manager of the energy and minerals research section at the Congressional Research Service. 

Butterfield was most recently the executive director of the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. The Washington Library is a resource for scholars, students and all those interested in George Washington, colonial America and the revolutionary and founding eras. In his capacity as executive director, Butterfield and his staff managed the Library, its research room and services to scholars. He also directed an annual program of research fellowships and helped lead the public programs, scholarly symposia, digital offerings and academic partnerships for the institution.

Butterfield came to Mount Vernon from the University of Oklahoma, where he was a tenured faculty member and served as director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage as well as the university's constitutional studies program. He is a specialist in the founding era and has written an award-winning book about early American legal history, “The Making of Tocqueville's America: Law and Association in the Early United States.”

At the University of Oklahoma, Butterfield engaged audiences in diverse public programs looking at the connections among U.S. history, the Constitution, current affairs and civic engagement. At the Washington Library at Mount Vernon, he continued that work with a particular emphasis on the American founding era.

Butterfield earned a B.A. in History from the University of Missouri, an M.A. in History from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in History from Washington University in St. Louis.

The John W. Kluge Center invites into residence top thinkers from around the world to distill wisdom from the rich resources of the Library and to foster mutually enriching relationships with lawmakers, other policy leaders, and the public. Occupying dedicated study and meeting spaces within the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building, across the street from the U.S. Capitol, the center allows scholars easy access to the largest collection of knowledge in the world and makes academic insights available to policymakers. The center also administers the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity, which recognizes and celebrates work of the highest quality and greatest impact that advances understanding of the human experience.

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PR 22-075
ISSN 0731-3527