Librarians and foreign policy in the early 20th century

In 1918, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) began funding International Mind Alcove collections in US public libraries to develop the “international mind” and help to put an end to war. During the program’s nearly 50-year history, these alcoves grew from small, almost informal collections, to a well-funded, highly organized, and controversial international project aimed at helping to sway global public opinion regarding international relations. The paper documents the evolution of the International Mind Alcove program and the role of American librarians in promoting an internationalism that often asserted itself against US foreign policy. Critical analysis focuses on the role of the Mind Alcoves in the development of new forms of internationalization that anticipate the globalized nature of the contemporary world and new forms of global consciousness distinct from state-based international identities.

Fighting for Peace: International Mind Alcoves and the Struggle for World Public Opinion was presented by Steve Witt, on November 13th, 2013. Steve is a PhD student at GSLIS, and an advisee of Prof. Alistair Black.

Listen to the audio file of his talk.

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