As I walk through The John W. Kluge Center here at the Library of Congress, it brings a smile to my face to hear the array of accents and languages being spoken. The Kluge Center is a true international center; we host scholars from around the world each year. Some of the nations represented in the Kluge Center over the years include Great Britain, Germany, Spain, France, Russia, Australia, Israel, India, China, Argentina, Kuwait, Lebanon, Kenya, and of course the United States.
The Kluge Center has developed several overseas partnerships that bring international scholars to the Center to use the Library of Congress collections. The Kluge Center does not fund these fellowships; we provide the use of our facilities, support staff, and access to the world’s largest repository of knowledge and to its subject area specialists.
The first of these programs is a collaboration between the Kluge Center and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of the United Kingdom. AHRC as well as ESRC (The Economic and Social Research Council) students are eligible to apply for the fellowship. The program began in 2007 and has grown into the Center’s largest partnership, with over 40 fellows in residence in each of the last two years. The AHRC-Library of Congress Fellowship brings in a majority of Ph.D. candidates; however postdoctoral fellows have come through the program, as well. This year we even had our first AHRC Fellow return as a Kluge Fellow, Dario Sarlo. Dario was in residence at the Kluge Center in 2007 doing doctoral research on Jascha Heifetz; in 2014 he returned as a Kluge Fellow to work on a book about the iconic violinist.
In 2009 the Kluge Center established a partnership with the Bavarian American Academy in Germany. The purpose of the fellowship is to bring advanced graduate students from Bavarian Universities to conduct independent research using the collections of the Library of Congress. Each year the Center hosts two to three fellows under this program. Scholars awarded this fellowship include Matthias Klestil (2012) researching African American literature, Peter Just (2012), researching the U.S. military in the post-Cold War era, and Nico Kuhlmann (2013) researching bio-piracy and patent law.
The most recent collaboration is the German Federal-Library of Congress Fellowship. This fellowship was modeled after the Bavarian Fellowship, but accepts students from greater Germany rather than being limited to universities in Bavaria. This collaboration also brings approximately three fellows per year to conduct research at the Library through the Kluge Center. Stephan Kuhl (2013) who just finished his residency was here researching the relationship between Richard Wright and Fredric Wertham, while a new arrival this month, Nicole Lidenberg (2014), is utilizing the Ralph Ellison archive.
As the Kluge Center moves further into the twenty-first century, we are always keen to foster fresh collaborations and partnerships. The Kluge Center is one of the best places within the greater institution to promote our collections, develop these overseas partnerships, and act as an ambassador for the Library to the scholarly community at large. That the Library of Congress continues to collect globally allows the Center a unique opportunity to facilitate research from a broad range of topics in 470 languages. Research at the Library of Congress is not limited to Americanists.
The international flavor of the Kluge Center has not only enriched our Center but the Library as a whole. It has helped foster new opportunities and spread the word of all the resources we have to offer. Scholars from around the world: we welcome you. To find out more, visit: http://go.usa.gov/f2ge.