Librarian of Congress to address associates
Vol. 17, No. 21Feb. 26, 1998

Librarian of Congress to address associates

James Hadley Billington, the 13th librarian of Congress, will be the featured speaker at the annual dinner of the University of Delaware Library Associates on Thursday, April 23, at Arsht Hall in Wilmington.

The event, which begins at 6 p.m., will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the University of Delaware Library Associates. Billington, will speak on "The History of the Library and the Electronic Future."

A native of Pennsylvania, Billington came to the Library of Congress in 1987 from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., where he had served as director since 1973. He is the author of The Icon and the Axe, Fire in the Minds of Men and Russia Transformed: Breakthrough to Hope. In June 1988, he accompanied President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan to the Soviet Summit in Moscow.

Billington received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1950. He earned his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College. Following service with the U.S. Army, he became a history instructor at Harvard University and an assistant professor of history and research fellow at the Russian Research Center the next year. He moved to the faculty of Princeton University in 1962, where he was a professor of history from 1964 to 1974.

Billington holds 21 honorary degrees and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He has been named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of France, is a recipient of the Gwanghwa Medal of the Republic of Korea and has received the Woodrow Wilson Award from Princeton University. In 1996, he was awarded the Knight Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany.

A special recognition will be made by John B. Tepe Jr., president of the Library Associates, in tribute to the founding charter members and/or their descendants or relations present at the annual dinner. Each founding member and/or their descendants will be identified by a flower. The Library Associates plans to present a special contribution of $10,000 to the University of Delaware for the library in honor of its 40th anniversary.

The annual dinner begins with a cash bar at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. The annual dinner is open to the public with advance reservations. Printed invitations will be mailed to members of the Library Associates and others during March. Ticket prices are $55 per person for UDLA members and $70 per person for nonmembers. For a printed invitation, e-mail a request to or call the Office of the Director of Libraries at 831-2231. Reservations are encouraged by April 18.