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Information HuntersWhen Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe$
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Kathy Peiss

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190944612

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190944612.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021

Acquisitions on a Grand Scale

Acquisitions on a Grand Scale

(p.93) Chapter 4 Acquisitions on a Grand Scale
Information Hunters

Kathy Peiss

Oxford University Press

After the war, the new Librarian of Congress Luther Evans worked with State and War Department officials on a plan to send library agents to Europe. The agents would acquire every book published in Germany and occupied countries and distribute them to American research libraries. The Library of Congress Mission to Europe was a unique collecting effort that acquired 1.5 million books, periodicals, and other materials. Initially a book-purchasing plan, it evolved into an industrial-scale acquisitions program under the American military government in Germany. It seized works from research institutes, specialized libraries, and Nazi collections, helped US Army document centers screen confiscated works, and acquired materials deemed to have no intelligence value. In its short existence, the mission embodied a new commitment among American research libraries, that large international collections were necessary to serve the national interest.

Keywords:   Library of Congress, Library of Congress Mission, book collecting, occupation, US military government, Luther Evans, occupied Germany

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