$60M for library – Linking scholars, politicians

The Library of Congress has received a $60 million gift, its largest ever, The New York Times reported Oct. 5.

The gift is from John W. Kluge, chairman of Metromedia International and head of the library’s Madison Council, which has been soliciting private donations for more than a decade.

Librarian of Congress James Billington plans to use the gift to create a program to foster relations between the library’s scholars and Washington politicians.

He hopes to bring scholars to the city to pursue fresh research and play a “catalytic” intellectual role for Congress, the library’s primary user.

Beginning next year, the program will endow eight senior chairs plus a dozen fellowships to younger students. Billington hopes to reach out to scholars not usually associated with Washington, which is top-heavy with economists and political scientists.

The program also will create a $1 million prize for intellectual excellence in the human sciences. The first Kluge prize, named after its benefactor, will be awarded in 2002.

For full story, go to the New York Times. 

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