“Continuing Solidarity with Our Colleagues” in Eastern Europe: the American Library Association (ALA) and the Postwar Rehabilitation of Eastern European Libraries, 1945-1948

SROKA, Marek (2017) “Continuing Solidarity with Our Colleagues” in Eastern Europe: the American Library Association (ALA) and the Postwar Rehabilitation of Eastern European Libraries, 1945-1948. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2017 – Wrocław, Poland – Libraries. Solidarity. Society. in Session 83 - Library History SIG. In: WLIC 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress 83rd IFLA General Conference and Assembly, 19–25 August 2017, Wrocław, Poland.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

“Continuing Solidarity with Our Colleagues” in Eastern Europe: the American Library Association (ALA) and the Postwar Rehabilitation of Eastern European Libraries, 1945-1948

The topic of the destruction of libraries during World War II has been well publicized. However, the American Library Association (ALA)’s assistance with postwar cultural rehabilitation of Eastern European libraries remains relatively unknown. The paper examines the “Aid to Libraries in War Areas” program, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and administered by the ALA, with respect to Eastern European countries, including Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia (Soviet Union), and Yugoslavia. The program consisted of two parts: the first, which ran from 1941 to 1947, dealt with periodicals; the other, in operation from 1944 to 1947, focused on books. Its goal was to replenish, though on a limited scale, devastated collections with American publications unavailable to most European and Asian libraries during Axis occupation.

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