ACRL WESS Research Forum at ALA Annual Conference

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    Téa Rokolj

    Call for Paper Proposals
    ACRL West European Studies Section Research Forum
    American Library Association Annual Conference, Chicago, June 25, 2017
    The ACRL West European Studies Section will host its annual European Studies Research Forum at the ALA annual conference in Chicago this summer.  The WESS Research and Planning Committee invites proposals from ALA members for formal presentations on research, including digital projects, related to any part or language of Europe including Russia.  Topics do not need to be library related.    The committee prefers proposals on research in-progress or recently completed by the person(s) proposing the paper.  The forum offers presenters an opportunity to take questions and comments that may be useful for their projects.


    Proposals must include the following:

    -Name, work location, email address of the researcher/presenter

    -Preliminary title and 200 word abstract that describes the research project and the focus of the presentation


    The committee will evaluate the proposals based on the clarity of the topic and quality of the abstract.

    Keep in mind that presentations will be limited to 15 minutes each for 3 presentations followed by time for questions.  The tentative time for this session is 4:30-5:30pm.


    Please submit your proposal via email or email attachment to the chair of the WESS Research and Planning Committee, David Lincove ( ).  The deadline for proposal submissions is March 31st.  The proposals will be reviewed by members of the committee who will choose 3 proposals for the forum.  All persons who submit a proposal will be contacted soon after the committee makes its decision in early April.


    • This topic was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Téa Rokolj.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 11 months ago by Téa Rokolj.

    Téa Rokolj

    European Studies Research Forum at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

    Saturday, June 24<sup>th</sup>, 4:30-5:30pm

    Chicago Hilton, Stevens Center, Salon A-5


    Sponsored by the WESS Research and Planning Committee (Nickoal Eichmann, David Lincove, Tea Rokolj).




    Gordon B. Anderson (University of Minnesota)

    Books under Suspicion: Identifying Nazi-looted books in German library collections


    Despite the persistent image of the Nazis being burners of books, in fact they valued books enormously and used them in countless ways to achieve their ideological and racial objectives.  Being pathological kleptocrats, the Nazis stole everything from their enemies. During the years 1933-1945 they looted millions upon millions of books from personal and institutional libraries for deposit into Nazi-run “research institutes” and for acquisition by German libraries.  While settling many issues, the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, also opened up issues long ignored, especially the issues in restoring looted property and wealth. In late 1998, 44 governments (including Germany) and 13 NGOs adopted the Washington Principles on Holocaust Era Assets, which included the restitution of looted books and archives. Since 2002, with German government support, libraries across Germany have undertaking projects to identify looted books in their collections and make amends.  In the spring of 2017 I visited several German libraries, and this paper is a report on their ongoing efforts and the dynamics of the process. I offer a preliminary assessment of their efforts to untangle and de-mystify the origins of many of their holdings.



    Paula Mae Carns (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

    Saving the Macclesfield Psalter: The Curious History of an English Medieval Manuscript


    In 2004 Sotheby’s auction house in London made a startling discovery when processing for sale the vast library of the Earl of Macclesfield in Shirburn Castle (Oxfordshire, England): a previously unknown fourteenth-century English illuminated psalter, now known as the Macclesfield Psalter. Bound in with another devotional text, the psalter had long been overlooked. The rarity of the piece (there are few such surviving books) and the lavishness of the decoration (which fills most pages) raised the price tag and thus it was no surprise that only the Getty Museum was able to purchase it, for ₤1.7 million. In response and following British law (which allows individuals and institutions in the UK to “buy back” a work of art before export) the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge with the help of the Art Fund launched a world-wide campaign to save this “national” treasure, which included a BBC television series, exhibition and numerous newspaper articles. The campaign was a huge success and the manuscript went to Cambridge, where the book was probably made. In my presentation I will examine the psalter’s unusual contemporary history and the rhetoric used in the print media campaign to “save” this book for England.



    Jim Niessen (Rutgers University)

    Heritage and Repatriation in the History of Habsburg and Hungarian Archives

    How long has Hungary had a national archives? It’s a trick question: the Hungarian National Archives (Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár) was created only in 2012 with the integration of the central repository of the country (Magyar Országos Levéltár) and the county archives. The Országos Levéltár arose by stages beginning in 1723 as the repository of the state offices of the country. Formal definition of “the country” became more complicated after 1918, but Hungary’s archives fared better than those of Austria in the sense that Hungary retained possession of major bodies of public records for regions that were now part of neighboring countries—whereas many of the records in Vienna were “repatriated” to Austria’s successor states. The aspiration to create an archives “of the nation” arose well before 2012. Today’s nation is cultural and sociological more than administrative, and the archives increasingly shared the ambition of the National Library to document Hungarians everywhere. Repositories in Hungary have accepted donations by Hungarians in the diaspora for decades, but especially since the establishment of the Mikes Kelemen Program in 2014 for the shipment to Hungary. My paper will examine the results of the program and the disadvantages of separating the national heritage of diaspora populations from that of their host countries.

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