Libraries and Museums

Libraries and Museums
▪ 2007

Libraries and museums grappled with ways to attract more patrons during the year, introducing innovative software (Library 2.0), technological wizardry (iPods as museum aides), and even “bib-dating.” Efforts continued to restore institutions battered in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina.

      In 2006 a new model of service called Library 2.0 emerged in the United States to describe a suite of innovative Web offerings that included virtual reference, downloadable media, blogs, and wikis. Coined by Michael Casey, a tech-savvy librarian at Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library, the term embodied a patron-centred view of service that empowered users to get information from the library whenever and wherever they needed it and encouraged a flexible response to their changing needs.

      The Library 2.0 model was only the most recent effort libraries had made to redefine themselves for the new century. In North Carolina the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County partnered with the city's Children's Theatre to create a city-block-long ImaginOn youth centre that featured interactive exhibits, performances, story times, and classes, as well as traditional books and videos, for which it won prestigious public-relations and interior-design awards from the American Library Association (ALA) during the year. The British Ministry of Culture launched a “Love Libraries” campaign in March to revamp a tarnished public image in the wake of reports that city councils in at least six counties were looking to close 50 libraries because of declining use.

       Belgian librarians in Leuven and Antwerp drew young people into public libraries by promoting “bib-dating,” or meeting other book lovers in a small group in order to find similarly inclined singles. The Spijkenisse city library in The Netherlands won a marketing award from the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions for its campaign to attract nonusers to the library with a simple postcard and the slogan “Wij missen u” (“We miss you”). A group of Canadian library students calling themselves Librarians Without Borders launched a project to build Biblioteca Tutangi, a desperately needed Portuguese-language nursing and medical library to support the learning needs of college students in Huambo, Angola.

 In June, American librarians demonstrated how they could literally build communities when a volunteer workforce of nearly 1,000 descended on libraries in New Orleans for two days of hard labour, clearing debris and cleaning books at more than 20 locations hit hard 10 months earlier by Hurricane Katrina. This spirited group, part of the 17,000 professionals who attended ALA's annual conference in the city, ventured into neighbourhoods where revitalized libraries could make a difference to those whose homes and possessions were destroyed. ALA was one of many library organizations and other concerned groups that channeled funding and materials to Gulf Coast libraries damaged or destroyed in the 2005 hurricane season. The Czech Republic in February contributed $111,000 to an Alabama library for the purchase of children's books.

       Canadian school libraries scored some points in a study funded by the Ontario Library Association that showed a positive correlation between student achievement and library resources and staff. The survey found that schools with trained librarians were more likely to have a higher proportion of grade-six students who met Ontario standards on reading-test scores.

      The year was an active one for library construction and renovation. On January 17 the New York Public Library dedicated a greatly expanded central branch in the Bronx to replace the Fordham Library Center, opened in 1923. The new Bronx Library Center offered facilities for literacy, teens, and technology training, as well as a Latino and Puerto Rican Cultural Center with 20,000 volumes of fiction and nonfiction in English and Spanish. The Morgan Library in New York City, the location of one memorable scene in the 1981 film Ragtime, reopened April 29 after a three-year expansion designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano.

      Canada's Library of Parliament reopened on June 3 after a four-year project to preserve the 130-year-old Victorian Gothic building in Ottawa. On May 16 Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox inaugurated the Biblioteca José Vasconcelos in Mexico City, which would serve both as the country's largest public library and as the central hub for all Mexican libraries. The South African Department of Arts and Culture lent its expertise in launching the construction of a new library in Timbuktu, Mali, to house Malian manuscripts dating as far back as 1204, when the city was a centre for trade and scholarship. The Tunisian National Library opened to the public in February in a new location in downtown Tunis that included a spacious documents reading room. The opening of a new National Library building in Minsk on June 16 was hailed by Pres. Alyaksandr Lukashenka as a “fount of people's knowledge” and a symbol of modern Belarus.

      Libraries acquired some notable collections and manuscripts in 2006. On June 23, only one week before the private papers of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., were to be auctioned, a group of prominent citizens in Atlanta came up with $32 million to purchase the collection and donate it to his alma mater, Morehouse College. A University College London librarian in January discovered inside a book in the library's Strong Room Collections the only known original manuscript of a poem by Lord Byron. Music researchers uncovered in the archives of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, Ger., the earliest-known handwritten manuscripts of Johann Sebastian Bach. One of them was dated 1700—when the composer was only 15 years old.

      The National Library of Vietnam in Hanoi translated the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme into Vietnamese as a national cataloging standard. The National Library of New Zealand in Wellington began offering subject headings in the Maori language to enhance services to indigenous people. On June 6 Irish Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin launched the Irish Research eLibrary, which would provide university researchers with online access to more than 25,000 scholarly journals.

George M. Eberhart

      The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., reopened in July 2006 following the six-year, $298 million renovation of the Greek-revival building that housed both institutions. Because the expanded gallery spaces allowed the Smithsonian to display five times the number of items to the public, the centre (named the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, after its prime donor) comprised the world's largest display of American art. Work also continued apace on British architect Sir Norman Foster's internal courtyard for the Smithsonian, due to be completed in 2007. On Museum Island in Berlin, the new Bode Museum (the former Kaiser Friedrich Museum following a $209 million renovation), which featured antique and Byzantine sculpture, opened in October. The same month, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles opened its new Center for Photographs, which expanded its gallery space for this medium fourfold. The last project in the renovation of New York City's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, opened on November 28.

      Proof of the positive economic impact of the museum boom came when a study declared that MoMA—reopened at the end of 2004—would generate $2 billion for the New York economy. On an international level, a UNESCO report asserted that the creative and cultural industries accounted for 7% of the world's gross domestic product. In addition, cities worldwide continued to open new museums to the public, in the hope that construction fees would be offset by the huge potential for local regeneration. The variety of new venues was as large as ever. New openings included a national museum of modern and contemporary art in Tallinn, Estonia; an underwater archaeological museum in the harbour at Haifa, Israel; and Wolfsoniana, a museum of fascist and futurist art, in Genoa, Italy.

      An increasing number of American institutions turned to state-of-the-art technology in an effort to attract new and younger visitors. Virginia's Mount Vernon, home to George Washington, the first U.S. president, opened new multimillion-dollar facilities that borrowed inspiration from theme parks and cinemas rather than the traditional historical museum; a highlight of the visitor centre was an action-adventure movie that reenacted heroic moments in Washington's life. The state's new National Museum of the Marine Corps followed suit, immersing visitors with ever-shorter attention spans in interactive exhibits; in its illustration of the U.S. troops' famous capture of the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, visitors boarded a replica Marine boat that re-created troops' experience with motion, sound, and video. On a smaller scale, Maine's Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum made iPods available, enabling visitors to listen to Inughuit language and music as they walked between exhibits. Hi-tech came with a high price, however, and many museums found it hard to find sponsors for expensive exhibitions. Charitable giving for the arts was reportedly suffering as philanthropists pledged a higher percentage of their annual giving in response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, and to international humanitarian-aid campaigns.

  Paris saw perhaps the most controversial new museum in 2006—the Musée du quai Branly, dedicated to the country's ethnographic collections of art taken to France—by its colonial explorers—from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The new institution reopened the thorny debate of how best Western museums should show non-Western art. French Pres. Jacques Chirac described it as “the result of a political desire to see justice rendered to non-European cultures,” although some critics thought architect Jean Nouvel's theatrical design reaffirmed stereotypes of non-Western art as mysterious and exotic. Visitor numbers were high, however. The city also benefited from the renovation of two of its best galleries, the Musée de l'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and the Musée d'Art Décoratifs. Bad news for Parisians came when the richest collector in France, billionaire tycoon François Pinault (Pinault, Francois ) (see Biographies), opened his collection of modern and contemporary art in Venice's Palazzo Grassi, having abandoned plans to show his art on an island in the Seine River. The power of collectors to create their own institutions was also illustrated when American Carlo Bilotti opened Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome's Villa Borghese gardens to showcase his collection of Giorgio de Chirico paintings and temporary exhibitions.

      The importance of collectors and dealers in the development of art was recognized at MoMA in a major exhibition that spotlighted how patron Ambroise Vollard helped propel the careers of some of the 20th century's best-loved artists, including Picasso and Cézanne. It coincided with several museum celebrations of Cézanne's art in 2006, the centenary of the artist's death. “Cézanne in Provence” traveled from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., to Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, France, while “Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885” was on display at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

 The artist who dominated museum schedules in 2006, however, was Rembrandt van Rijn, with shows to mark 400 years since the Dutch master's birth. (See Art: Special Report.) Exhibition highlights included a survey show at the Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam, and “Rembrandt-Carravagio” at the city's Van Gogh Museum, putting together two Baroque geniuses. It was also a good year for the heavyweights of Renaissance art. A comprehensive show of Michelangelo's drawings drew large crowds to London's British Museum, while the “Universal Leonardo Project” celebrated Leonardo da Vinci with a series of linked exhibitions on the artist across Europe.

      In the contemporary art scene, young artists from the United States were honoured with several high-profile shows, including “USA Today” at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and “Uncertain States of America,” which traveled from Oslo to New York to London. Both exhibitions showed the response of artists to the political situation in the U.S. in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The spectre of these events also continued to haunt the museum sector. A report by Heritage Preservation concluded, in the wake of Katrina, that 80% of U.S. institutions had no emergency plans to deal with hurricanes and other natural disasters, while in Baghdad the director of the National Museum, Donny George, resigned and moved to Syria following interference in his work by the anti-Western Shiʿite-led government. As the eyes of the world turned to neighbouring Iran's nuclear ambitions, Tehran's Palestine Contemporary Art Museum held a controversial exhibition of cartoons satirizing the Holocaust. The city's Niavaran Palace Museum, however, defied the regime's anti-Semitic stance by showing an exhibition of paintings by Marc Chagall, a Jewish artist.

      The relationship between Western and Chinese museums was strengthened by several collaborations, including the tour of Mark Rothko works from Washington's National Gallery of Art to Hong Kong. Chinese contemporary art reached Western audiences for the first time in the form of exhibitions at London's Victoria and Albert Museum; the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; and the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley, Mass.

      The United States, however, continued its investigation into the looting of Tibetan art by the Chinese authorities. These moves echoed ensuing legal action over art works that had been looted by the Nazis before ending up in public museums in Europe. The Austrian National Gallery was forced to return five paintings by Gustav Klimt to the Jewish family from whom they were stolen, while London's British Museum and the Glasgow (Scot.) Art Gallery paid compensation to the prewar owners of works. The World War II era had also seen the destruction of the historic city of Dresden, Ger., by Allied bombing. In 2006 the city took a major step forward in its process of renewal with the reconstruction and reopening of the Green Vault, the ornate chambers that housed part of Dresden's jewel and art collections. Officials of the Getty Museum broke off yearlong talks about the return of antiquities that Italian authorities claimed had been looted, ceding possession of about 26 items in November. A few weeks later the Getty agreed in principle to the return to Greece of a 4th-century BC gold funerary wreath it had bought in 1993.

Sam Phillips

▪ 2006

During 2005 libraries coped with requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act, and museums instituted security measures to prevent theft and thwart terrorism; Hurricane Katrina walloped libraries and museums on the U.S. Gulf Coast; and Google's plan to digitize the books of five major libraries had worldwide implications.

      The year 2005 again offered proof that libraries were not immune to matters that shaped society. Google, the ubiquitous Internet search service, in late 2004 had announced plans to digitize books from the collections of five great research libraries in the U.S. and Britain. The Christian Science Monitor compared the project to Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in its importance to the dissemination of knowledge. A test service, Google Print, was launched as digitalization efforts progressed, but in August 2005 Google suspended the operation owing to copyright disputes with publishers and publishing associations. In September a number of authors filed suit on the basis of copyright issues.

      Google's bold venture, however, sparked international ramifications. Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany wrote to his counterparts in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland to propose that all these countries begin digitizing the contents of their libraries. Without this effort, he wrote, “this heritage will perhaps not occupy its deserved place in the scholarship of the future.” The director of the French Bibliothèque Nationale publicly worried about “the risk of America reinforcing its crushing domination of future generations' understanding of the world.” Worldwide, digitalization of library materials was drawing attention. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) awarded a six-year, $308 million contract to Lockheed Martin to build NARA's Electronic Records Archives. An op-ed article in the Toronto Star urged the Canadian government to begin work on digitizing much of the content of the national library, and libraries everywhere, notably the British Library (BL), were digitizing their unique materials and mounting them on the Web.

      At the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, Ger., a previously unknown aria composed by Johann Sebastian Bach was discovered. A 27-year campaign by the Italian city of Benevento resulted in an order for the BL to surrender a 12th-century illuminated missal believed to have been looted during World War II. The BL was also facing the loss of the world's oldest Bible, the Codex Sinaiticus, to a monastery in Egypt. The Codex, which had been housed in the monastery since the 6th century, was removed in the 19th century and purchased by the BL in 1933 from the Imperial Library in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

      A provision of the USA PATRIOT Act that allowed federal police agencies to demand circulation records and placed a gag order on library workers was hotly debated in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate as Congress considered renewal of the law. Despite stiff resistance from a coalition of liberals, libertarians, and librarians, the renewals passed, and a conference committee was to attempt to resolve differences in the respective versions. Before that could happen, however, a federal judge lifted a gag order on a Connecticut library that sued the government over the constitutionality of the gag order permitted by the PATRIOT Act. Government lawyers promptly and successfully appealed the ruling, and the gag order was reinstated.

      In August the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions convened in Oslo as an expanded and renovated National Library of Norway was inaugurated. In Bahrain the Shaikh Isa National Library opened, and in Iran the inauguration of a new National Library occasioned a diplomatic incident following the detainment at the airport and subsequent deportation of the editor of American Libraries magazine, the membership magazine of the American Library Association. In the U.S. the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum opened in Springfield, Ill.

      Four public libraries opened in small communities in Nepal through a partnership of individual villages with the U.S.-based READ literacy-advocacy organization. Over the past 15 years, some 35 public libraries had opened in that country. In Imphal, India, protesters torched the Central Library of the state of Manipur. The group that took credit for the act also threatened newspapers and publishing companies that used Bengali script, the language of the library's 145,000-volume collection.

      Hurricane Katrina devastated libraries along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Public libraries in Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., and in the parishes surrounding New Orleans were destroyed. A branch library in Pass Christian, Miss., was described simply as “gone.” In New Orleans the first floor of Dillard University's library was under water, and the entire Southern University campus might have to be rebuilt. A card catalog in the school's library had drawers exploded by water-swollen cards. Tulane University and the New Orleans Public Library's main branch, however, seemed to have escaped major damage. In most areas of the affected region, roofs were ripped off and library collections destroyed. In many cases library workers who evacuated could not learn the fate of their workplaces, and across the country evacuees inundated libraries to communicate with loved ones and file applications for aid from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). The Houston Public Library set up temporary libraries in some emergency shelters, and libraries across the country collected books to send to the devastated area. Recovery of libraries and library services, however, would likely take years; the impact of Hurricane Rita was still undetermined.

      The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $1 million to Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a nongovernmental organization that used boats to take Internet access and computer training to impoverished villages in Bangladesh. In The Netherlands a public library instituted a program to “lend out,” for 45 minutes of conversation in the library's coffee shop, people from minority groups. Among these people available to be “checked out” were Roma (Gypsies), Muslims, gays, lesbians, noncriminal drug addicts, and asylum seekers.

Thomas Gaughan

 Following a five-year closure, San Francisco's M.H. de Young Memorial Museum celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2005 by reopening in a landmark building designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. In addition to offering double the exhibition space of the museum's previous home, the new building was seismically designed to be a stable base for the city's art collections; the original de Young Museum had sustained extensive damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. A dramatic reminder of the threat that natural disasters posed to museums came in August when punishing Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. Although the New Orleans Museum of Art survived intact, other Gulf Coast museums suffered significant damage, including the Louisiana State Museum and the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History.

      In March a $56 million Holocaust Museum opened in Jerusalem, with dignitaries and heads of state from more than 40 countries attending the inauguration. The museum, which replaced Yad Vashem's old museum, focused on the individual tragedies of the Holocaust victims. Oslo's Munch Museum reopened in June after a 10-month closure following the theft of Edvard Munch's masterpieces The Scream and Madonna. In the new museum, Munch's paintings were secured behind glass and bolted to the walls.

      Herzog & de Meuron was the firm in demand for the museum sector in 2005. Besides completing de Young in April, the Pritzker Prize-winning practice completed the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis, Minn., and continued its work on cultural projects, ranging from the Parrish Museum in Long Island, N.Y., to Madrid's CaixaForum exhibition space.

      The global boom in museum building and expansion continued apace during the year. The variety of new museum developments underlined the public's burgeoning appetite for a wide range of culture. In Naples a museum of contemporary art opened in the 18th-century Palazzo Roccella. In the Swiss capital of Bern, architect Renzo Piano (Piano, Renzo ) (see Biographies) designed a radical museum dedicated to the work of artist Paul Klee. King Abdullah of Jordan inaugurated in Amman the new wing of the National Gallery dedicated to temporary exhibitions. The Museum of World Culture opened in Göteborg, Swed., to show ethnographic treasures from across the world. In San Juan, P.R., Espacio 1414 opened its doors to showcase cutting-edge Latin American art.

      There was anxiety among many, however, that the costs for some high-profile buildings were spiraling out of control. Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art abandoned its long-planned expansion by superstar architect Frank Gehry when only half of the $170 million funds needed were secured. In January the chairman of the Guggenheim Foundation, Peter B. Lewis, resigned after accusing the trustees and director Thomas Krens of profligacy. In Madrid the Reina Sofia's new wing opened a year late and €17 million (about $21 million) over budget. There were signs that less-expensive architects were once more gaining favour. Leipzig's minimalist Museum der bildenden Künste was the first major new museum to be built in eastern Germany since 1945. It was met with wide praise and was built by Hufnagel Putz Rafaelian, a little-known Berlin practice.

      In London the terrorist attacks of July 7 and 21 caused a severe drop in the number of museum visits; the National Gallery reported 46% fewer visits in the aftermath of the bombings than it had during the same week a year earlier. New security measures were put in place, and searches of bags became commonplace. Previously, the number of visitors had been at an all-time high, and the success of the abolition of entrance fees in December 2001 continued to buoy attendance. In 2004 there were 75% more visits to museums in the U.K. than in 2001. In 2005 Sweden also dropped admission fees for all state museums. In Paris artists demonstrated outside the Louvre in January after the museum withdrew a traditional exemption that allowed them free admission.

 Inside the Louvre the world's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, was moved to a renovated and expanded viewing gallery in April. In July Saudi Prince Walid ibn Talal agreed to donate $20 million to the Louvre for the construction of a wing to house Islamic art. The Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, unveiled one of the most ambitious and expensive sculptures in modern history when it installed in its vast ground-floor lobby A Matter of Time by American artist Richard Serra. Commemorative dates continued to frame many art exhibitions. The most important anniversary in 2005 was the centenary of the foundation of the Brücke artist group of German Expressionists, including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde, and Erich Heckel. Unprecedented displays of their art were mounted in museums in Berlin, Hamburg, Madrid, and other European cities.

      A number of museums highlighted the art of Africa in 2005. “Africa Remix,” a show on display in London and then Paris, was an attempt to introduce the diversity of contemporary African art. The exhibition coincided with political attempts at the Group of Eight summit to alleviate poverty on the continent. The art and archaeology of Egypt also continued to attract crowds, with a range of exhibitions that showcased treasures from Cairo. In Europe, Egyptian art shows were on display in Paris; Bonn, Ger.; and Cremona, Italy. In the U.S. a dazzling exhibition of artifacts from the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamen opened in June at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, beginning a 27-month tour of the country. The show's organizers hoped that the latest “Tut” would emulate the success of the seminal Tutankhamen show, which attracted some eight million visitors and set traveling show attendance records when it toured the U.S. in 1976–79. Another touring exhibition, “The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt,” thrilled audiences in Denver, Las Vegas, and Dayton, Ohio. New York's Museum for African Art, operating from a temporary location in Queens, started construction work on its new site in Harlem. The federal government agreed to a grant of $3.9 million for the creation of a National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. American talk-show host Oprah Winfrey was named as a member of the museum's board.

      Major exhibitions of Russian art introduced the country's collections to a Western audience. The blockbuster “Russia!” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City presented art ranging from 13th-century religious icons to Moscow's present day avant-garde. Across the city in the East Village, the Ukrainian Museum moved to a new $9 million home with two floors of galleries for temporary exhibitions. The Musée d'Orsay in Paris and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto also staged Russian shows, borrowing many works from St. Petersburg's State Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage's director, Mikhail Pyotrovsky, announced plans for a museum in St. Petersburg celebrating Fabergé, the world-famous brand established by Peter Carl Fabergé, goldsmith and jeweler to the tsars of Russia.

Sam Phillips

▪ 2005


      During 2004 forces that affected nations and individuals buffeted libraries around the world: war, terrorism, limited resources, protest movements, legal issues, technology, crime, and disasters. In an effort to help restore and preserve American cultural treasures, develop online catalogs, and train Iraqi library professionals, grant funding was secured by the University of California, Berkeley and Los Angeles; Harvard University; Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; and Simmons College, Boston. Iraq's war-ravaged libraries received international assistance. British publishers, universities, and businesses collected 10 tons of books and journals for delivery to Iraqi academic libraries in Baghdad and Mosul. The National Library of Iran donated books, computers, and furniture to Afghan libraries that had languished during the Taliban regime.

      In January a group of Hindu activists calling themselves the Shambhaji Brigade destroyed some 30,000 rare manuscripts at the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune, India. The library of the Islamia Higher Secondary School, a leader in efforts to modernize Islam, lost to arson in July some 30,000 Islamic texts, including one of the oldest known Quʾrans. A Tamil library in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, that burned in 1981 during the war between the Tamils and the majority Sinhalese reopened after 23 years. As many as 100,000 volumes had been destroyed in the arson; they were replaced by some 40,000 donated volumes. Officials in Great Britain and Canada branded firebombings of Jewish libraries “racist acts.” A Montreal Jewish school lost almost its entire collection in an April attack. Two such attacks in Britain resulted in the destruction of priceless Torah scrolls.

      U.S. Pres. George W. Bush urged the extension of the USA PATRIOT Act during his state of the union address. Some months later a legislative attempt to amend the act to prohibit searches of library records failed by a narrow margin. Interestingly, legislators on both the far left and the far right supported the amendment.

      Old-fashioned crime also had its effects. The curator in chief of manuscripts at the French Bibliothèque Nationale was arrested for the theft of Hebrew religious texts from the 13th–15th centuries. As many as 100 manuscripts might have been taken, and the investigation was continuing. The theft over a decade of some 3,200 rare volumes from the Royal Danish Library led to the jailing of four people in June. The stolen materials were valued at $48.4 million, and only 1,556 volumes were recovered. A staff member of the library at the University of Texas at San Antonio was indicted for the theft of some $200,000 between 1997 and 2003. The money came from fines collected for overdue and lost books and videos. The library worker faced two felony counts, and each was punishable with a sentence of 5 to 99 years. In Toronto police arrested a 55-year-old library worker for the 1969 shooting of a Chicago police officer. Joseph Pannell had jumped bail, fled to Canada, and lived there for 35 years under an assumed name.

      Natural disasters took their toll. A valuable sheet-music collection sustained water damage in February as firefighters fought to control a fire in St. Petersburg's Aleksandr Blok Library. In Weimar, Ger., a catastrophic fire in September in the Duchess Anna Amalia Library destroyed some 25,000 volumes and damaged 40,000 others. About 6,000 volumes, including a 1534 Martin Luther Bible, were saved. At North Carolina Central University, about two-thirds of the library's 567,000 volumes were threatened by mold. Library users and staff who had asthma and allergies were warned to avoid the area and not use the materials. Florida Orchestra officials scrambled to move their sheet-music collection to higher ground as Hurricane Charley threatened the Tampa area in August.

      Protests forced Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexandrina to remove a display of an Arabic edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious early 20th-century forgery. Rock-throwing student protesters caused Dominican Republic Pres. Hippolito Mejía Domínguez to flee the dedication of a new library. Employees of the Ghana Library Board (GLB) went on a nationwide strike to protest salary structures and working conditions. The GLB called on the government to close all public libraries if it could not resolve the situation. Despite the fears of some, the San Francisco Public Library moved ahead with plans to use microchips to keep track of library materials. Those who opposed the plan believed the devices would permit the tracking of city residents and collection of personal information. The library sought to find some $300,000 in its budget to begin the program. The Vatican Library embarked on a similar scheme, but the microchips would not be used for circulation; the pope is the only person allowed to remove materials from the library.

      There was some positive news for libraries during the year. A stunning new $165 million Central Library designed by acclaimed Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas opened in Seattle, Wash., and 28,000 library patrons entered the building on its first day of operation. Newsweek magazine described the building as “eye popping,” “wired to the max,” and yet “book-centric.” The New York Times critic described the library as the most exciting new building he had reviewed in 30 years of writing about architecture. A new National Library of Singapore, expected to open in 2005, received a $33.4 million donation, one-third of the building's cost, from the Lee Foundation. In administrative news, John Tsebe was appointed the first black director of the National Library of South Africa, and Singaporean R. Ramachandran became the first Asian librarian to be appointed Secretary General of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. In December the Internet search engine Google announced that it had reached agreements with several major libraries to scan their collections and make the digital files searchable on the Web.

Thomas M. Gaughan

      The year 2004 ended with the successful reopening in November of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), which housed the world's preeminent collection of modern and contemporary art, following a four-year closure for an $858 million reconstruction. During the interim MoMA had used an exhibition space it created in a former factory in Queens. Expansion in the museum sector was worldwide, with many building projects coming to fruition despite some negative financial circumstances.

      The two global museum chains—the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York City—had contrasting fortunes. The Hermitage expanded its international presence, adding to its London branch with a new outpost in Amsterdam and announcing plans to create a Hermitage Hiroshima in Japan and a Hermitage Kazan in Tatarstan to take its collections to an ever-wider audience. The Guggenheim's project to open a museum in Taichung, Taiwan, stalled over funding issues, however, and Guggenheim Rio was blocked by a court order following a challenge by the political opponents of the mayor of Rio de Janeiro.

      The opening of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Bilbao in 1997 marked the beginning of the museum sector's infatuation with big-name architects. In 2004 this love affair was as passionate as ever. Gehry's MARTa Herford, a museum of art and craft in Herford, Ger., opened to the public, and he announced proposals for a Museum of Biodiversity in Panama. Washington's Smithsonian Institution appointed high-profile British architect Norman Foster to enclose the courtyard of the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery to create a 2,600-sq-m (28,000-sq-ft) glass atrium. In New York City the Whitney Museum of American Art announced Renzo Piano as the new architect behind its expansion plans. This new appointment established the Italian as the leading American museum architect—in 2004 he was working on museum projects in Atlanta, Ga.; Chicago; Cambridge, Mass.; and Los Angeles. The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian opened in September, 15 years after the U.S. Congress approved its construction. Native Americans were involved in every element of the museum's creation; the architect, the director, one-third of the museum staff, and major patrons were of Indian descent. The grounds surrounding its curvaceous limestone building were landscaped to recall the Native American plant environment before European contact.

      The boom continued to be international in scale. From the new Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan, showcasing Himalayan culture, to the opening of Taiwan's Bunker Museum of Contemporary Art, sited in an island military fortification, the variety of museums and collections on exhibit increased worldwide. The prince of Liechtenstein's art treasures were rehoused in a new museum in Vienna. Italy established the Museo Fotografia Contemporanea, its first museum of contemporary photography, in Milan. In London the Royal Academy of Arts put its collection of British art on display for the first time in a restored suite of rooms.

      The homecoming of the Olympic Games to their birthplace in Athens was an opportunity for the city's museums to highlight Greece's ancient heritage. Although an extensive program of exhibitions was launched in Athens and worldwide (under the banner of the Cultural Olympiad), the city suffered some setbacks. The National Archaeological Museum was not renovated in time for the Games; the upper floors remained closed, and work on the proposed New Acropolis Museum stalled. London's British Museum continued to refuse the return of the Elgin Marbles, carvings that originally had been housed in the Athenian Parthenon. Athens wanted to make the Marbles the centrepiece of its cultural celebrations.

       Beijing declared that it would build 20 new museums in time for the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The year 2004 saw a surge of interest in the country's antiquity, with exhibitions of Chinese art traveling to venues ranging from the Musée Guimet in Paris to the Field Museum in Chicago. A number of museums used commemorative dates to frame their exhibition programs. The National Gallery of Ireland marked 150 years with a special-events schedule, and the Jewish Museum in New York City celebrated its centenary with a major Modigliani show. The anniversaries of the birth of Salvador Dalí and the death of Frida Kahlo were celebrated with shows in the Catalonia region of Spain and Mexico City, respectively. The biggest exhibition festival, however, was not related to an anniversary. For “Rubens 2004” more than 10 cities worldwide staged exhibitions of the Baroque master's art.

      A fire at a Momart storage facility in London brought attention to the risks museums took when using private companies to store and transport art. The most high-profile losses were contemporary works owned by British collector Charles Saatchi. Nevertheless, the theft in August of two Edvard Munch masterpieces, The Scream and Madonna, from Oslo's Munch Museum showed that works were not always secure in the institutions themselves. Such worries did not stop the Sudanese National Museum of Khartoum from lending its treasures for display in the British Museum. Following the humanitarian disaster in the Darfur region of The Sudan, the British Museum dropped the admission fee and asked the public to instead donate to charities working in the Darfur area. In October Chicago's Terra Museum of American Art closed its doors after some 24 years in operation.

       Iraqi conservators continued to work to restore Baghdad's National Museum following the looting that took place in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war there the previous year. Although the museum stayed closed in 2004, the majority of the 14,000 works looted were returned and the international museum community offered valuable support. Italy, for example, donated laboratory equipment to the conservators. Copenhagen's United Exhibits Group announced its intention to stage a worldwide tour of Iraqi treasures in 2005, with the support of the Iraqi Governing Council. During the year the West also made moves to establish cultural diplomacy with Iran. The British Council organized the first show of British art in the Islamic Republic, and the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago returned a set of 300 small ancient clay tablets to Iran.

Sam Phillips

▪ 2004


      When U.S. troops entered Baghdad in April 2003 and Iraqis looted and burned the National Library, many Iraqis recalled the 13th-century sacking of the city by the Mongols. According to legend, the Tigris had turned black from the ink of books thrown into the river.

      The New York Times reported that “virtually nothing was left of the library” or its contents. Later reports suggested that professional thieves stole priceless documents and unorganized looters burned nearly everything else. Additionally, the city's most important Muslim library was looted, and many priceless Quʾrans were destroyed. U.S. forces were bitterly criticized for their failure to try to limit the looting, and an office of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) reported that before the war it had written to Pres. George W. Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, urging them to protect the country's cultural heritage. Other libraries in the country were also destroyed; in Basra, however, librarian Alia Muhammad Baker spirited away some 30,000 volumes from the city's library, which burned nine days later in a mysterious fire.

      Although less epochal than the destruction of a national library, fallout from the war on terror continued to impact American libraries. Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which Congress had passed in the weeks following 9/11, gave expanded powers to police agencies to obtain library-patron information. Some libraries hung signs and printed bookmarks that warned patrons that what they read was no longer confidential. Other libraries began deleting circulation records. Some 160 communities passed resolutions decrying the law's threat to readers' privacy. At year's end, bills to rescind Section 215 were in both houses of Congress, and Attorney General John Ashcroft was on a 16-state speaking tour to defend the PATRIOT Act.

      The 64,000-member American Library Association (ALA) found itself on the losing side in a Supreme Court review of CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act. CIPA required school and public libraries that received federal technology funding to install Internet-filtering software. The ALA contended that filters failed to block pornography effectively and blocked legitimate Web sites inadvertently, abridging free speech. In June the court ruled 6–3 that the law did not violate the constitutional guarantee to free speech.

      A lagging U.S. economy and financial crises in many states resulted in thousands of libraries cutting service hours, freezing hiring, introducing fees, laying off staff, and even closing branch libraries. Gov. Jeb Bush announced a plan to close the Florida State Library and donate the 350,000-volume collection to a private university. Opposition was immediate and broad, and the plan was killed in the state legislature. Elsewhere, from Massachusetts to Hawaii, library use climbed, as it always did in a poor economy, and library resources dwindled. In South Africa, Pakistan, and China, governments announced initiatives to increase funding levels and build new public libraries.

      Libraries of all kinds used serials agents to purchase magazines and journals. In 2003 one of the largest such companies, RoweCom, declared bankruptcy. Tens of millions of dollars disappeared. Publishers were not paid and library subscriptions lapsed. Much of the financial damage was mitigated by an ad hoc committee of publishers and librarians that convinced many publishers to “grace” 2003 subscriptions, and EBSCO Industries, another agent, stepped in to purchase RoweCom. Interestingly, RoweCom filed suit against divine, inc., its parent company, to recover in excess of $70 million that should have gone to publishers; divine, inc., also filed for bankruptcy. Some librarians described the scandal as the “Enron of the library world.”

      Crime, disease, and censorship confronted libraries worldwide. In Cuba government control of information caused many individuals to open their personal libraries to other readers; in March, however, police arrested some 75 regime critics, many of whom ran libraries, and confiscated thousands of books. Despite international protests, those arrested were quickly sentenced to long prison terms. Among the authors censored were George Orwell and Mario Vargas Llosa. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic forced the closing of the Chinese National Library from April 24 until June 9. (See Health: Special Report (What's Next After SARS? ).) Some 1,800 people entered the library during the first hour of service on June 9. The Shanghai Library disinfected its 250,000-volume collection in May; in Toronto a library worker sued Mt. Sinai Hospital for $2.1 million because she was pressed into screening visitors for the disease.

      During 2003 Scotland Yard's “Most Wanted List” included a man alleged to be a library thief wanted in connection with thefts from the National Library of Wales and libraries in Denmark. In Bath and Bristol, Eng., microfiche containing data on millions of births, deaths, and marriages were stolen. News reports speculated that terrorists might use the records to create false identities. A Hong Kong university asked Japan to return 138 books taken during World War II.

      On a positive note, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology made progress in its DSpace initiative to provide digital access to the university's entire research output. The British Library (BL) previewed two exciting new technological services. One was a document-delivery service that offered rapid access to more than a billion items from the BL collections, whether in print, microformat, or digital form. Developers believed that they could offer two-hour delivery to a desktop. Separately, the library unveiled Turning the Pages, a touch-screen system that enabled users to virtually turn the pages of priceless documents such as the Lindisfarne Gospels and Leonardo da Vinci's notebook.

Thomas M. Gaughan

      In 2003 museums felt the impact of recent and past wars, but they also experienced growth and innovation. In April looters plundered Iraqi museums following the invasion of the country by U.S.-led coalition forces, but estimates of damage were reduced after many objects believed to have been stolen were found in safekeeping. The Mesopotamian Warka Vase and the Lady of Warka mask were taken back to the National Museum of Iraq, and about 3,000 other artifacts were returned following an amnesty and a series of raids at airports and border checkpoints. About 10,000 objects from the National Museum of Iraq and the Mosul Museum were still missing, however. The Kuwait National Museum stayed closed, more than a decade after its exhibit halls were burned in fires set by retreating Iraqi forces in 1991. In Afghanistan, however, two rooms reopened at the Kabul Museum, where curators hoped to repair the destruction in 2001 of nearly 2,000 sculptures that the Taliban called offensive to Islam. In New York City, in the area traumatized by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a new wing that opened at the Museum of Jewish Heritage—A Living Memorial to the Holocaust embodied the museum's theme of rebuilding after tragedy.

      A number of museums hosted exhibitions of Iranian, Egyptian, Oriental, and Indian art and antiquities. The British Museum, which aided Iraqi cultural recovery efforts, marked its 250th anniversary with giant red ribbons and special exhibitions, including objects from its founding. In Amsterdam the Van Gogh Museum celebrated the artist's 150th birthday. The 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls, which rarely traveled, went on display in Michigan at the Public Museum of Grand Rapids in an educational loan from the owners, the Israel Antiquities Authority.

      New museums of contemporary art opened their doors in Málaga, Spain; Rovereto, Italy; and Cincinnati, Ohio, where the Contemporary Arts Center showcased performance art. The provocative contemporary art collection of the Saatchi Gallery opened in London, and in Beacon, N.Y., many minimalist works of American artists of the 1960s and '70s filled a new 23,200-sq-m (250,000-sq-ft) exhibition space at Dia Beacon. In Singapore the new Empress Place wing of the Asian Civilizations Museum opened, and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco reopened with new galleries. The Museum of Immigration and Diversity in London, coinciding with refugee week, opened the exhibit “Suitcases and Sanctuary,” recounting stories of three centuries of immigrants to Spitalfields, a traditionally multicultural area of the city.

      In a series of setbacks, French ceramics galleries were closed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and the important 17th- and 18th-century ceramics collection of the chateau of Lunéville, France, was largely lost in a fire.

      In August two important appointments were made. The Whitney Museum of American Art selected Adam D. Weinberg as its new director following the resignation in May of embattled director Maxwell L. Anderson, and Ann Little Poulet became the first woman to direct the Frick Collection, after Samuel Sachs II announced in January that he was leaving.

      Furthering efforts by museums to make collections available to researchers on the Internet, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City put photographs and descriptions of its fossils, expedition records, and anthropological and other objects online. The National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., took similar steps, and in the Chicago area the Field Museum, the Morton Arboretum, and the Chicago Botanic Garden created a virtual herbarium online.

      In a 2003 survey by the American Association of Museums (AAM), fewer museums reported operating surpluses in 2002 than in 2001, but more reported having broken even financially, perhaps realizing the success of budget cuts. Even in frugal times, a number of museums expanded. In Salem, Mass., a $125 million structure designed by Moshe Safdie incorporated the earlier buildings and mariners' collections of the Peabody Essex Museum and a traveling merchant's 19th-century wood house from China, with goldfish pools in the courtyard. In Fort Worth, Texas, the new home of the Modern Art Museum opened in late 2002. The $65 million glass-and-steel structure surrounded by water was designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. In Washington, D.C., several museums planned expansions, including a $22 million project at the Phillips Collection, $1 billion in improvements at the Smithsonian Institution, including a new National Museum of the American Indian, and a new wing designed by Frank Gehry for the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In Qatar a new museum was being built by Sheikh Saud al-Thani to hold Qatari costume, jewelry, Iznikware, and Mamluk glass.

      Owing to budget cuts, the Guggenheim Las Vegas (Nev.) closed indefinitely in January, but the Guggenheim agreed to lend its name to a new $130 million museum in Rio de Janeiro, to be funded by the city in a revitalization of its waterfront. In Merion, Pa., the Barnes Foundation, the financially strapped owner of a valuable collection of Post-Impressionist paintings, sought court approval to undo restrictions set by its original donor and move to a more accessible site in Philadelphia .

      Art looted by the Nazis continued to haunt museums. In a continuing effort to return to their original owners any Nazi-stolen objects housed in American museums, in September the AAM launched the Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal, a searchable registry of American museum objects that had possibly changed hands in Europe in the Nazi era. In a U.S. court the Austrian National Gallery fought a court ruling that it could be sued in California for recovery of six paintings by Gustav Klimt that it possessed. The paintings were sought by the niece of their original owner, a Jew whose vast art collection was stolen by top Nazis after Austria was annexed to Germany in 1938. At the palace of Tsarskoye Selo, Russia, the Amber Room—an 18th-century gift to Tsar Peter the Great that featured 100,000 pieces of carved amber paneling and that had vanished during the German retreat in 1945—was reconstructed, again in amber.

Martha B.G. Lufkin

▪ 2003


      Funding problems, damage to structures by man-made and natural disasters, and questions about the preservation of civil liberties were some of the issues that overshadowed the jubilation over the construction in 2002 of extravagant new libraries and museums.

      By early 2002 libraries in Afghanistan—which had been devastated by fighting or shuttered by the Taliban—had reopened. Though the facilities had little to offer readers, not even light to read by, children returned. Female staff resumed work, and men visited without fear of conscription. To Afghanis the symbolism of the reopenings was profound.

      In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S., alarms were raised concerning the perceived threat to long-standing American library freedoms. The USA PATRIOT Act, passed with virtually no congressional debate just six weeks after the attacks, overrode laws in nearly every state that had made library records confidential. Law-enforcement officials investigating terrorism or national security could demand information on what a person had read or where an Internet search had taken them. Library workers who revealed such a demand to a co-worker or supervisor were guilty of a crime.

      By May 2002 Attorney General John Ashcroft (see Biographies (Ashcroft, John )) had given the FBI new powers to monitor individuals in libraries, churches, political gatherings, and other public places and had thereby rescinded restrictions enacted in the 1970s. Associations of librarians and booksellers and members of Congress protested the threat to civil liberties. Throughout the year American library workers wrestled to balance compliance with professional ethics. (See Social Protection: Special Report (Security vs. Civil Liberties ).)

      Other procedures also changed. At the Library of Congress (LC), which received 22,000 pieces of mail daily, irradiation of mail following the anthrax attacks damaged or destroyed many documents, tapes, photos, and other media. An indeterminate number of the damaged materials had been sent by authors or publishers to secure copyright.

      American libraries also faced other legal challenges. A federal district court struck down the Children's Internet Pornography Act (CIPA) in May. CIPA denied federal funds to libraries that had not installed Internet filtering software. The American Library Association, one of the plaintiffs, successfully argued that filters block constitutionally protected speech while failing to block pornography effectively. The Justice Department later announced that it would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. In April the European Parliament voted 460–0, with three abstentions, against installing filters.

      Conflicts in other regions also afflicted libraries. The dedication of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the much-publicized successor to the fabled Library of Alexandria, had been postponed from April by Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak in light of Palestinian-Israeli hostilities but finally took place with some 3,000 foreign dignitaries in attendance on October 17.

      Library-funding problems were grave in 2002. Many German cities sold public hospital clinics, libraries, and swimming pools to cut deficits. Employee strikes over compensation affected the British Library and libraries at the University of California, Berkeley. Plummeting stock prices eroded the endowments of libraries that had such assets. Public libraries in South Africa reduced services and struggled to forestall closing. In Washington, the Seattle Public Library closed for two weeks owing to operating budget shortfalls. Nevertheless, a new $160 million public library for the city was under construction. A number of other closures were barely averted, and many libraries reduced hours and services.

      Even as many libraries struggled financially, others looked forward to expansive new facilities. Construction of a 46,450-sq-m (500,000-sq-ft) Parliament Library neared completion in New Delhi. A $90.6 million library was being built in the heart of Montreal that would serve as a centrepiece of Quebec culture.

      Information technology offered libraries stunning opportunities to disseminate information. A 700-year-old Qurʾan, written in gold, had been digitized by the British Library. An audio commentary was added to explain important parts of the book. The LC digitized high-resolution images of the Gutenberg Bible. Print historians believed that the images might force a reevaluation of Gutenberg's technique. Both projects would be Web accessible. The LC also debuted the “Portals to the World” Web site , which featured up-to-date information on more than 80 countries, including links to digital information in the countries themselves. All nations were expected to be included by 2003. Library consortiums continued to develop 24-hour-a-day on-line reference services in New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Southern California; Chicago; and other areas. In Zimbabwe donkey-drawn carts were taking e-mail, Internet, fax, and book services to remote areas. The Nkayi District in northwestern Zimbabwe had an 86% literacy rate that an International Federation of Library Associations' report attributed primarily to those mobile libraries.

      China's ongoing love-hate relationship with the Web continued. Even as a $20 million Sino-U.S. Digital Library was under construction at Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, the government blocked access to the Google and AltaVista search engines in late August. Speculation about the motive centred on the Communist Party's annual congress, scheduled for November. Chinese state media quoted Pres. Jiang Zemin in August as telling propaganda officials to create a “sound atmosphere” for the gathering. Access to Google reappeared without explanation on September 12, but some content was blocked. AltaVista remained blocked, however.

      Natural and man-made disasters also affected libraries. Floods in Central Europe in August caused damage to libraries in Germany and the Czech Republic. Hardest hit was the Prague Municipal Library. Among the hundreds of damaged books was a 1488 Prague Bible, one of only 12 extant copies. In March welding in a subbasement of the National Library of Canada activated a sprinkler system. Among the materials damaged were government documents, children's books, videotapes, and valuable prints. The NLC had suffered some 72 material-damaging incidents in just 10 years. For the third consecutive year, scores of langur monkeys overran the library at Loreto College in Darjeeling, India. Some 6,000 books were destroyed; furniture was broken; and library users were routed. Speculation about the causes of the attacks focused on deforestation and the possibility that perfumes and plastic bags used by students might have provoked the onslaughts.

Thomas Gaughan

      On Dec. 9, 2002, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo celebrated its centenary anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, the museum opened its basement vault and displayed some 40 artifacts from its King Tutankhamen collection, including jewelry from his tomb, never before seen by the public. Egypt also announced an architectural competition for a “Great Egyptian Museum” that would be sited near Cairo's pyramids. When completed in about five years, the new museum would house many of the Egyptian Museum's treasures.

      A number of museums funded striking architectural statements, continuing a trend toward dramatic, attention-getting museum designs. At the new $40 million Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, Eng., architect Daniel Libeskind's bold forms represented the war zones of land, air, and sea. The Royal Ontario Museum also chose a Libeskind design, a prismatic glass “Crystal,” for its approximately $124 million addition. Meanwhile, the Art Gallery of Ontario planned an addition designed by Frank Gehry. In Madrid the Prado Museum prepared for a modern cubelike addition to open in 2004. The National Gallery of Ireland's Millennium Wing, designed by Benson & Forsyth, was praised for its lofty interior spaces and integration with surrounding Irish Georgian buildings.

      The Pinakothek der Moderne, devoted to 20th- and 21st-century visual arts, opened in September in Munich, Ger. The 12,000-sq-m (129,000-sq-ft) space held paintings, sculptures, video installations, photographs, drawings, prints, design objects, and architectural models. The Sakip Sabanci Museum, a mansion that opened in Emirgan (a suburb of Istanbul), contained antiques, Islamic calligraphy, and Turkish paintings. In Washington, D.C., the $40 million International Spy Museum opened its doors in July. Visitors could choose a cover identity and subject themselves to a mock interrogation. In Santa Rosa, Calif., the Charles M. Schulz Museum opened, delighting fans of the comic strip Peanuts.

      In Long Island City, Queens, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) moved accessible exhibits—including Van Goghs and exquisite cars—for display in a new temporary space, dubbed MoMAQNS, while its Manhattan site closed for expansion. The renovation was scheduled for completion in late 2004. In Moscow, at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, previously uncataloged Egyptian collections went on display. A raging fire in the Abdul Rauf Hasan Khalil Museum in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, completely destroyed one of the three buildings that held some 13,5000 works of art; the museum sustained an estimated $27 million in damages.

      Funding bedeviled several museums. In Germany, Peter-Klaus Schuster, secretary-general of the 17 state museums in Berlin, sought $1 billion in government aid to renovate the institutions, aging propaganda tools of the Cold War. The British Museum introduced budget cuts of £6 million (about $9 million), including partial gallery closings, and French national museums estimated a loss of €5.5 million (about $5.4 million) for 2002. Illinois public museums sought $400 million over 10 years in government funds for unglamorous yet much-needed projects, such as replacing zoo sewers.

      Underscoring the fact that corporations were among the most powerful museum benefactors and art collectors, the firm UBS PaineWebber promised to give MoMA 37 artworks from its distinctive collection, including Cagney, a 1962 Andy Warhol silk screen of the movie star. In Barcelona, Spain's largest savings bank, la Caixa, opened the CaixaForum to display its collection of more than 800 contemporary artworks, including a mural by American artist Sol LeWitt.

      A $36.5 million proposed gift—to create a hall of fame of American achievers at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History—was withdrawn after scholars objected that the donor, Catherine B. Reynolds, wanted popular celebrities to be included in the exhibit and had too much control. Though Smithsonian director Lawrence M. Small had made fund-raising a top priority, it was felt that the museum should retain ultimate authority over exhibits.

      In London, Charles Saumarez Smith, who during his tenure as director of the National Portrait Gallery saw the number of visitors double to 1.3 million, moved next door to become director of the National Gallery. That museum's director, Neil MacGregor, left to head the British Museum. At the age of 37, Miguel Zugaza became the Prado's youngest director ever, and Serge Lemoine became director of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. J. Carter Brown, the widely admired former director of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., for 23 years, died in June. (See Obituaries (Brown, J Carter ).)

      The Jewish Museum in New York City sparked outrage with its exhibit of artworks seen as trivializing the Holocaust. The exhibit— which included empty boxes for a mock Lego concentration camp set and a photograph of emaciated Buchenwald concentration camp inmates altered to include the artist raising a can of Diet Coke—was defended by the museum, as signalling to the public that a new generation of artists was drawing on Holocaust and Nazi images in a new way.

      Efforts continued to identify artworks in museum collections that had been stolen by Nazis. Twelve museums in Europe and North America faced claims for drawings by Albrecht Dürer that were allegedly stolen during World War II from the Lubomirski Museum in Lvov, Poland (now Lviv, Ukraine). A federal judge granted the U.S. government permission to seek to confiscate a painting lent to MoMA by the Leopold Museum in Vienna, allegedly stolen by a Nazi from a Jew.

      A number of museums dealt with foreign claims to antiquities. Egypt demanded the return of a granite relief from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. The Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Ga., announced that it was returning to Egypt an unwrapped royal mummy, allegedly the body of Ramses I. The Princeton University Art Museum returned an ancient Roman relief that had wrongly left Italy. The British Museum declined to return 10 “tabots,” sacred wooden images taken by British troops in 1868 and sought by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The British Museum also refused to lend the Parthenon (Elgin) Marbles—prized monuments from ancient Greece that had been viewed by millions since the museum acquired them in 1816—to the New Acropolis Museum, scheduled to open in conjunction with the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Martha Lufkin

▪ 2002


      Though in recent years the most newsworthy events pertaining to libraries worldwide had involved war damage, fires, floods, earthquakes, and other tragedies, there were fewer such disasters in 2001 and proportionally more instances that demonstrated the synergies between networked computing and the traditional library functions of organizing knowledge and making it accessible.

      Images and information on 20,000 magnificent pre-Columbian textiles created by the Incas and other indigenous cultures were mounted on the Internet ——by the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, Lima, Peru, with financial support from Fundación Telefónica. In Cambridge, Mass., Genomics Collaborative, Inc. (GCI), began building the world's largest library of genetic material—human tissue and blood. Samples were being collected from around the country, classified, and stored. GCI believed that the collection would be invaluable in developing new drugs to treat cancer, diabetes, and many other diseases. The government of South Australia established the Digital Library of Indigenous Australia to collect and disseminate information about Aboriginal Australians: .

      A host of new and unique libraries opened. In France a government-financed automotive research centre began building a compact-disc library of automobile noises that would be available to engineers in pursuit of sweet sounds, including the desirable resonance made by the solid sound of a door closing on a BMW 7-Series sedan. In October the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was completed. (See Sidebar (Bibliotheca Alexandrina ).)

      New public libraries offered hope to residents of war-torn or impoverished areas. The first large-scale public library opened in Beirut, Lebanon. In Rwanda the design for the country's first-ever public library, in Kigali, was finalized. It was hoped that the library, scheduled to open in 2002, would help raise the country's literacy rate, which at 47% was one of the lowest in the world. The Jaffna Public Library in Sri Lanka, which had been the repository of the history and culture of the island's minority Tamil people, was in the process of rebuilding, 20 years after it had been incinerated by Sinhalese police officers.

      In the U.S. technology brought not only new services and capabilities but also conflict and legislation that threatened to alter basic tenets of the library ethos. In 2001 a federal law took effect that mandated the installation of Internet-filtering software in all libraries that received federal funding. Suits filed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law's constitutionality. ALA president Nancy Kranich maintained that “blocking technologies come between librarians and their mission—to connect people with a broad range of information.” The ALA position of resisting any action that might keep information from anyone drew fierce censure from socially conservative critics, including radio host Laura Schlessinger and The Wall Street Journal. On the other hand, a librarian at the Chicago Public Library sued her employer on the grounds that the pornography viewed by library users created a hostile workplace for library workers.

      American libraries also found their missions endangered by other legislative initiatives and legal challenges that surrounded information technology. Provisions of the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998, markedly restricted the “fair use” policies of former copyright laws, on which libraries and educators had long relied to permit the copying of documents for educational purposes. In 2001, however, some relief was in the offing, as an amendment to the DMCA was under consideration.

      Not all library travails, however, arose from technology. Novelist Nicholson Baker's Double Fold offered a scathing indictment of library preservation policies, particularly in regard to the practice of discarding newspapers after they were microfilmed. Baker was well remembered by librarians for his similarly vituperative attack in the April 1994 issue of The New Yorker, in which he scorned libraries' abandonment of the venerable card catalog in favour of automated versions. Though libraries traditionally landed “below the radar” of august publications, critically acclaimed authors, and outspoken radio talk-show hosts, their importance in contemporary society might be gauged by the quality of their critics. Conversely, it might also be measured by the behaviour of ordinary citizens. In 2001 the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that more Australians visited libraries than went to the movies.

      Shelving was torqued in academic, public, and special libraries, and hundreds of thousands of volumes were launched onto the floor when an earthquake hit western Washington. One public library in the region suffered structural damage from the magnitude-6.8 temblor that struck in February. A month earlier a 7.6–7.9 quake shattered libraries in El Salvador. The Biblioteca Gallardo, a private 80,000-volume library that housed rare manuscripts, art works, and other materials dating back to the 16th century, was virtually destroyed. The country's national library, which never fully recovered from a 1986 quake, was also further damaged. Plans for a June renovation financed by Spain were postponed while the new damage was assessed.

      Floods ravaged libraries in West Virginia, where some eight libraries sustained varying degrees of damage in one of the worst disasters to hit the state in decades. In Houston, Texas, Tropical Storm Allison dumped nearly 0.9 m (3 ft) of rain in July, causing billions of dollars of damage. Numerous branch libraries of the Houston Public Library and the libraries of Houston Academy of Medicine–Texas Medical Center and the Houston Symphony all suffered extensive damage to collections, furnishings, and equipment.

Thomas M. Gaughan

      Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the role of museums as custodians and guardians of cultural heritage was underscored worldwide. In an effort to safeguard the value of their collections, a number of museums sought to upgrade their insurance policies and implement damage-control measures.

      Earlier in the year the International Council of Museums, along with the Canadian Museum Association and the United Nations Security Council, publicly condemned the Taliban's destruction in Bamian, Afg., of two several-centuries-old giant Buddha statues that had been carved into a cliff. The Taliban claimed that these priceless treasures were idolatrous symbols.

      A number of new museums as well as additions to existing structures appeared during the year. In Germany the Jewish Museum Berlin, designed by Polish-born American architect Daniel Libeskind, opened its doors on September 9. The $60 million zinc-clad structure, meant to symbolize a deconstructed Star of David, was the first Jewish museum in the city in 60 years; the Nazis had destroyed the previous museum in 1938. The centrepiece of the new museum—which chronicled Jewish history from Roman times—was the Holocaust Tower, where visitors found themselves enclosed in a dimly lit concrete chamber after a door slammed closed behind them.

      When the new National Museum of Australia (NMA) debuted in March in Canberra following 20 years of planning, it opened to mixed reviews. Though some praised architect Howard Raggatt's design as a “masterpiece,” others deemed the design plagiarized from the Jewish Museum Berlin, which, though it opened in September, had been completed two years earlier. Aerial photographs comparing the two museums had disclosed a disturbingly similar zigzag shape. The director of the NMA, Dawn Casey, maintained that the design was “brilliant,” and she downplayed the similarity of the roof designs. The NMA was the first museum devoted exclusively to the country's social history and would house five permanent exhibitions—Nation, Horizons, Eternity, Tangled Destinies, and the First Australians Gallery. For its opening the NMA featured the temporary blockbuster exhibit “Gold and Civilisation.”

      On February 15, Singapore opened a new war museum, which chronicled the experiences of the people held at the Changi prison camp in that city during the Japanese World War II occupation. The museum courtyard featured a replica of a chapel built by prisoners of war. After 10 years of planning, Ronald S. Lauder, chairman of Estée Lauder International, opened the Neue Galerie in New York City in November. The museum was devoted to German and Austrian fine and decorative arts.

      In Johannesburg, S.Af., the Apartheid Museum opened in November. The privately financed museum was the first of several planned exhibits to examine the history of apartheid. Upon entering the new museum, all visitors were arbitrarily assigned a racial classification (“white” or “nonwhite”) and then directed down separate hallways with appropriate “white” and “nonwhite” displays before being allowed to mingle in the final rooms.

      Beginning on January 1 the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which featured collections of American, African, and Oceanic art, among other objets d'art, shuttered its doors. A new museum—expected to open on the site in the spring of 2005—would showcase the design of Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. (See Biographies (Herzog, Jacques, and de Meuron, Pierre ).)

      A few institutions made significant additions to their structures, notably the British Museum in London, where architect Sir Norman Foster redesigned the central courtyard, which opened in December 2000. In May 2001 the museum unveiled a priceless 17th-century Indian jewel collection that been looted by Iraq from Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War but later returned. The collection—many of the pieces had never before been seen in the West—was on loan from the Kuwaiti government. Kuwait was rebuilding its museum, which Iraq had burned to the ground during the war. In Wisconsin the Milwaukee Art Museum on October 11 unveiled its gigantic $75 million movable sunshade, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. (See Architecture .)

      A number of museums saw changes in directorship. The Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, London, announced in February that Mark Jones would succeed Alan Borg. Jones had spent 15 years at the British Museum before becoming founding director of the new National Museum in Edinburgh. On May 2, the day after starting his new job, Jones announced that the V&A would take the lead in abolishing all entrance fees, beginning in November. The Natural History Museum and the Imperial War Museum would be the only top London museums to continue to charge admission.

      Following the announcement of Smithsonian Institution secretary Lawrence M. Small's “new strategic direction for science,” Robert Fri, director of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., tendered his resignation. Fri cited his lack of enthusiasm for the new personnel structure, which would have left control of the scientists to J. Dennis O'Connor, the undersecretary for science. Small had also raised the ire of Smithsonian officials, curators there and at other museums, and Washington lawmakers when he announced the closure of the Smithsonian's wildlife conservation centre in Virginia; he later retracted that decision. Spencer Crew, the director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C., also departed.

      In Venezuela, Pres. Hugo Chávez Frías purged the leadership at 36 government cultural institutions in his effort to rid the country of a “rancid oligarchy.” Art critic Sofía Imber, the founding director in 1971 of the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art (which was later given her name), was one of the most prominent figures to have been removed. During 30 years at the helm of the museum—which housed one of Latin America's most impressive collections of works by Pablo Picasso, Fernando Botero, and Marc Chagall, among others—Imber had also implemented programs to educate poor children.

      In a surprise move David A. Ross, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, announced his resignation after three years. During his tenure he had boosted membership from 24,000 to 44,000 and had spent $140 million to enhance the museum's collection. Henri Loyrette, head of the Orsay Museum in Paris, was named the new director of the Louvre. (See Biographies (Loyrette, Henri ).)

      The Internet continued to play a major role in museums. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation launched, a premium arts centre site, and the U.S. federal government awarded $1.4 million to 6 of 32 applicants—the Exploratorium in San Francisco; the Illinois State Museum Society; the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz.; the North Carolina Zoological Society, Asheboro; the Skyscraper Museum, New York City; and the Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo, New York City—in the second year of its Museums Online grant program.

Karen J. Sparks

▪ 2001


      Two important roles of libraries—as repositories of knowledge and as keepers of culture—were highlighted in 2000. Libraries collected vast quantities of written materials that ranged from incunabula to digital information.

      Parents and politicians in the U.S. continued to voice concerns over children's access to inappropriate material in libraries. Once again, legislation was introduced in the U.S. Congress that would require the schools and libraries receiving federal “e-rate” subsidies for Internet connections to install filtering software that would block access to World Wide Web sites containing sexually explicit content. Voters in Holland, Mich., drew national attention in February when they defeated (55% to 45%) a ballot proposal that would have required the city to withhold funding from the Herrick District Library unless the library installed filters on all of its public Internet workstations.

      King Juan Carlos I of Spain launched a bilingual Web site——developed jointly by the National Library of Spain and the U.S. Library of Congress. The latter, which celebrated its 200th birthday on April 24, was cautioned in July by the National Research Council to act quickly to “address strategy, management, funding, and staffing issues that threaten to render the institution second rate among today's digital libraries.”

      Libraries increasingly scanned print materials into digital form to make them accessible worldwide; some nations, however, clearly feared losing control of information and communication. At the National Library of China, some 24 million pages of printed information were now available on-line, but in October the Chinese government issued draconian new Internet policies that forbade, among other things, spreading rumours and hurting China's “reputation.” Meanwhile, friends and colleagues in the U.S. used the Internet to help secure the release from a Chinese prison of Song Yongyi, a librarian at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. He had been imprisoned for nearly six months by Chinese authorities on charges of illegally gathering documents on behalf of foreign interests. He was released on January 28 and became a U.S. citizen on February 20.

      The Shanghai Library completed restoration of some 30,000 ancient rubbings from stone inscriptions that illuminated life in China. In Berlin the handwritten scores of many of Johann Sebastian Bach's greatest works were turning to dust as the country commemorated the 250th anniversary of the composer's death. Analysis of the documents showed that the ink Bach used was extremely acidic. Cooperative efforts by the State Library in Berlin, IBM Corp., and eight other institutions produced a digital preservation Web site—

      A number of claims were made during the year concerning library materials seized as spoils of war. An Italian archbishop renewed a request that the British Library (BL) return a 12th-century manuscript looted from a cathedral near Naples during World War II. Monks at the Monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai, Egypt, were demanding the return from the BL of the Codex Sinaiticus, the oldest-existing New Testament in the world. Ethiopian scholars were pressing a number of British libraries to return manuscripts, jewelry, religious icons, and other artifacts taken by British troops in 1868. A parliamentary commission was studying the claim. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md., returned a section of a 9th-century edition of the Quʾran written in gold leaf to its original home in Turkey. Parts of the Gold Quʾran had disappeared after 1756, and the section was bequeathed to Johns Hopkins in 1942. According to Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress, some 186,000 books confiscated by the Nazis were given in 1951 to various Austrian libraries. Documents discovered in the State Archives in Vienna revealed that the Austrian government authorized this distribution.

      Valuable library materials were stolen, too. Thefts from university libraries in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine in recent years were attributed in 2000 to an “international book mafia.” The gang was known as the Astronomers because many of the books stolen were works by Copernicus and Ptolemy; Interpol believed the gang was Russian, and journalists speculated that the thefts were being commissioned by a fanatic collector.

      A tornado that on March 28 struck downtown Fort Worth, Texas, caused $1.2 million in damage to the exterior and some $400,000 to the interior of the city's recently renovated Central Library. Catastrophic flooding soaked some 100,000 volumes at the North Dakota State University library in the early hours of June 20; damage totaled at least $5 million.

      In January the Seattle, Wash.-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $2.5 million to the Canadian province of British Columbia for computer equipment; the gift also included $1 million of software. In August, Microsoft Corp. cofounder Paul Allen donated $20 million to the Seattle Public Library, earmarking $15 million for books and other materials and $5 million to go toward building a children's centre in the new central library.

      The Friends of Cuban Libraries, an anti-Castro group based in the U.S., reported that some 30 independent libraries had opened in Cuba and offered access to books banned by the government. The caretakers of these collections were reportedly subjected to “systematic persecution,” although it was not clear if this was because of book-related problems or oppositionist activities. Meanwhile, the British government planned to spend £252 million (about $380 million) to equip libraries, pubs, and soccer clubs with computers and Internet connections in a move to extend the Internet to the “information underclass.”

      A number of new libraries opened in 2000. In Israel, at Yad Vashem, a new archive and library containing the world's largest collection of Holocaust material opened. In Sarawak, Malaysian officials greeted the millennium by opening the Sarawak State Library. American Vietnam veteran William J. Kelly, Jr., financed a new library that opened in the southern province of Binh Phuoc, Vietnam.

Gordon Flagg; Thomas Gaughan

      The opening of several new museums around the world highlighted 2000. Bankside Power Station in London was transformed into the new Tate Modern, which housed the modern collection of the Tate Gallery; the structure was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. In Germany the last new federal museum opened in Greifswald; the Pommersches Landesmuseum was charged with interpreting Pomerania's history and culture. The inaugural exhibition at the Jewish Museum Berlin, designed by Daniel Libeskind, was postponed until 2001. Greece announced a new design competition for a museum to be built at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens and to be opened in time for the 2004 Athens Olympics. At the end of 2000, Italy planned to open a Mafia documentation centre in Sicily that was meant to break the code of silence surrounding organized crime. Thirty years after it was conceived, the Salvador Allende Museum of Solidarity opened in Santiago, Chile.

      After having been closed for a decade, the Iraq Museum in Baghdad reopened after the reinstallation of some 10,000 of the approximately 250,000 artifacts that had been crated and stored during the Gulf War. The national museum in Kabul, Afg., also reopened briefly for the first time after years of civil war. The oldest gallery in England, the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, was reopened in the spring after months of extensive renovations. Rome's Pinacoteca Capitolina resumed operations after a restoration and reorganization increased its available space. The Louvre opened its new galleries of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas and for the first time displayed art from sub-Saharan Africa.

      An alliance struck between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the State Hermitage Museum focused on the renovation of space at the Hermitage for exhibitions from the Guggenheim and the lending of works from the Hermitage for the Guggenheim's future space on the East River in New York City as well for other museums. The two institutions would also collaborate on the opening of a small museum in Las Vegas, Nev. Another joint venture, between the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Gallery, would result in a new, for-profit World Wide Web site from which the two institutions would sell goods and services.

      Holocaust survivors or their heirs continued to make claims for objects in European museums. At a gathering in Vilnius, Lithuania, 37 governments agreed to make every reasonable effort to achieve the restitution of cultural assets looted during World War II. Ten national museums in the United Kingdom posted and continually updated a list of works whose Holocaust-era ownership histories were incomplete; German museums and such American museums as the Art Institute of Chicago; the Denver Art Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, took similar steps. In compliance with a 1998 law, Austrian museums examined their collections for Nazi booty. Images of those items for which owners could not be located would be posted on the Internet. The Czech Republic passed a law that would allow property confiscated by the Nazis to be returned, including material held in national museums. Russia passed a law that would permit victims of the Nazi regime or Russia's wartime allies to seek the return of looted art; this measure did not include, however, the lifting of a prohibition against the return of material taken by the Soviet Union from Germany or German citizens. Armenia, on the other hand, returned thousands of objects that the Red Army had taken from libraries and museums in Germany.

      Some museums were victims of theft, while others welcomed returned goods. Claude Monet's painting The Beach at Pourville was stolen from the National Gallery in Poznan, Pol., and a reproduction was put in its place. Thieves filched Paul Cézanne's painting Auvers-sur-Oise after breaking into the University of Oxford's Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology. A stolen Enigma machine, used to break Nazi codes during World War II, was anonymously sent to a U.K. newscaster, who returned it to Bletchley Park, the home of Great Britain's wartime code breakers. It was missing several rotors, however. The Darder Museum of Natural History in Banyoles, Catalonia, Spain, returned the stuffed body of a 19th-century Bushman to Botswana after officials deemed the display (on view from 1916 to 1998) inappropriate. The Berlin Museum returned to Nepal a stone idol of Uma-Maheshwor, an 800-year-old stone relief stolen 18 years earlier.

      During 2000 an estimated $1.9 billion was spent on new museums and expansions in the U.S., ranging from Frank O. Gehry's $100 million Experience Music Project in Seattle, Wash., to the $1.2 million National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. Among the projects were the expansion of the $210 million Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the creation of a $2.5 million children's garden at the Winterthur (Del.) Museum.

      American museums boasted 865 million visits in 2000, up from the 600 million annual visits in the late 1980s. Increased scrutiny was therefore placed on these institutions, especially regarding ethical issues. Concerns both inside and outside museum groups prompted the museum community, led by the American Association of Museums, to produce ethical guidelines on the exhibition of borrowed objects.

Barry Szczesny; Helen J. Wechsler

▪ 2000


      While conducting business as usual—making information available and preserving knowledge and culture—some libraries around the globe were buffeted in 1999 by violent conflicts, careening technological change, human frailty, and nature's paroxysms. Although virtually all libraries faced computer problems as the year 2000 approached only the Bibliothèque Nationale de France—Franƈois Mitterrand suffered all these unlikely problems in the same year.

      In January researchers' frustrations at flawed computerized retrieval systems at the F 8 billion (about $1.4 billion) “legacy” commissioned by former French president Mitterrand exploded into violence. A pregnant staff member was seriously injured and lost her unborn child. Some 2,500 staff members went on strike, returning only when management agreed to close the library on Mondays to lessen stress. The decrease in operating hours further outraged library users. Floods threatened rare materials housed on lower levels, and three eminent scholars writing in Le Figaro dubbed the facility a “sinister farce.” There were more strikes later in the year, and the National Assembly opened an inquiry into the debacle.

      Researchers at the Russian State Library, affectionately known as the Leninka (because it had formerly been named after V.I. Lenin), were hoping for a more user-friendly computer system. A project sponsored by the European Union invested €1 million (about $1,150,000) to digitize some of the Leninka's 84 million handwritten catalog cards. Russia's financial woes created a crisis in the country's libraries. Although Prime Minister Sergey Stepashin called for more funding for the Leninka in July, he was out of office a few weeks later. Service was halted at the British Library in London when employees who retrieved books for users went on strike over wages and working conditions that they likened to those of miners.

      Libraries also suffered as a result of violent conflicts. The Yugoslav army occupied the National and University Library of Kosovo in Pristina, believing that NATO would not bomb a library. Previously, all of the Albanian library staff had been fired, a sixth of the 600,000-volume collection destroyed, and ethnic Albanians denied admittance. The ban was later lifted, and the new director was one of the fired employees. The public library in Kukës, Alb., which four years earlier had been confiscated and turned into a bar, was by April sheltering hundreds of refugees. Library service there was later restored. All three U.S. Information Agency libraries in Yugoslavia—in Pristina, Belgrade, and Podgorica, Montenegro—were damaged in protests against NATO bombings, and the Pristina facility was burned to the ground. In India students enraged over a caste insult ransacked the library at the Bangalore University. Elsewhere, Israeli air strikes against suspected Hezbollah targets in Lebanon damaged a library in Zibquine, and students in Liberia and Nigeria were injured while protesting inadequate library and other educational resources.

      Government uncertainties about the societal impact of the Internet continued to affect libraries. China and Australia tightened restrictions on Internet use and content, but Guyana lifted its restrictions, citing its “access to information” commitment. In the U.S. the debate over preventing children from accessing inappropriate material continued to escalate. Legislation was introduced in Congress requiring schools and libraries receiving federal “e-rate” subsidies for Internet connections to install filtering software to block access to World Wide Web sites containing sexually explicit content. At least a dozen states introduced or passed similar filtering mandates.

      Scandal struck the Vatican Library after officials learned that in 1989 the library director, who was subsequently dismissed, had sold the rights to digitally reproduce 150,000 Vatican manuscripts to two financially suspect Americans. The Vatican voided the contract and was involved in litigation.

      In other news, the German Bundestag (parliament) was considering the establishment of a Holocaust library in Berlin. In July staff at Florence's Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale rediscovered a bag containing a small amount of the powdered remains of Dante Alighieri, considered Italy's greatest poet. The remains, donated to the library 500 years after Dante's death, had disappeared in 1929. In Uglich, an ancient town in the Upper Volga region of Russia, the Library of Russian Vodka was established.

      Separate earthquakes damaged libraries in Mexico and Colombia, and a hailstorm pelted an Australian academic library. The September earthquake in Taiwan inflicted serious damage to libraries in a six-county area surrounding the epicentre. The National Taichung Library suffered a partial collapse of its seventh floor and damages to its air-conditioning and water systems. Some 17 public libraries in the area either were demolished or suffered significant structural damage; 18 others were slightly affected. The Choctaw branch of the Oklahoma City, Okla., library system was demolished May 3 when a tornado ripped off its roof and destroyed more than half of its collection. A September 18 fire at the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library's downtown branch caused more than $1 million in damage and incinerated as many as 10,000 books, most of them new.

      The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions met in August in Bangkok. Some 2,200 librarians gathered to share ideas about technology, resource sharing, and funding.

      To commemorate the centennial of Andrew Carnegie's donation of $5.2 million to build branch libraries in New York City, the Carnegie Corp. awarded $15 million to 25 urban libraries. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys professional football team, and his wife donated $1 million to the Library of Congress to purchase replacement volumes originally held in Thomas Jefferson's personal library.

Gordon Flagg; Thomas Gaughan

      Many new museums were established throughout the world in 1999. In Japan the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum opened on the site of the artist's studio in Mure, and the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts took its place as the first Asian sister museum of an American institution. Portugal's first contemporary art museum, the Museu Serralves, opened in Oporto. Scotland added two new museums during the year; the Dean Gallery in Edinburgh doubled the size of the existing National Gallery of Modern Art, and Contemporary Arts in Dundee combined exhibits with art education. In Australia the opening of the National Portrait Gallery in Sydney focused on the nation's growing emphasis on its multicultural identity. The new National Museum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, opened in January.

      The newly expanded Van Gogh Museum reopened in Amsterdam. Funding for the expansion came from a Japanese company in exchange for the Van Gogh to send five exhibits each year to the Yasuda Museum in Tokyo. The Prado in Madrid unveiled newly restored galleries housing its Velázquez masterpieces. The paintings had narrowly escaped water damage caused by leaks during the renovation. The Horyu-ji Buddhist art gallery of the Tokyo National Museum, which had been closed for five years, was rebuilt and was now open throughout the year.

      Museums in the U.S. continued to ride the wave of economic good times during the final year of the 1990s. From information made available by museums, the American Association of Museums (AAM) estimated that approximately $2.2 billion was spent on expansions and new institutions in 1999. AAM also noted a significant increase in the popularity of museums, from 600 million visits per year in the late 1980s to 865 million in 1999. As engines of cultural tourism, museums also contributed to the economy. The Van Gogh exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for example, drew more than 821,000 visitors and brought $121.9 million to the county.

      While museums had long placed education at the forefront of their public service missions, a landmark report by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 1999 quantified those efforts. According to the report, museums in the United States spent $193 million annually on K–12 programs and provided to the public nearly four million hours of educational programs, including guided field trips, staff visits to classrooms, and traveling exhibits in schools.

      Nations and their museums continued to address the fact that some artworks in their collections may have been looted by the Nazis from Holocaust victims. Following the passage of legislation in Austria allowing works of art seized by the Nazis and later incorporated into state museums to be returned to their rightful owners, the Austrian government dealt with two high-profile claims, receiving criticism for the partial rejection of one of them. The U.S. government showed increasing willingness to step in with powerful tools used in law enforcement and seize disputed objects on behalf of claimants in disputes normally handled by private civil litigation. In one case the U.S. government seized from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City an Egon Schiele painting on loan from Austria, allegedly misappropriated during the Holocaust era. The Israel Museum worked toward verifying a claim from the heir of a collector who died in a concentration camp. After moving to ease the return of Nazi-looted material in its museums, Germany returned paintings that once belonged to the same collector. The Louvre in Paris and the Musée des Beaux Arts in Caen, France, returned paintings to Jewish heirs. The Russian Ministry of Culture continued publishing catalogs of art that had been stolen from museums near St. Petersburg during the Nazi occupation. Russia continued to refuse to return any of the so-called trophy art looted by the Soviet army from Germany and other countries, viewing it as compensation for its losses during the war, though its Constitutional Court struck down part of the law that prevents the return of such material.

      The year was also marked by some high-profile thefts. Nine years after they were taken from the Archaeological Museum in Corinth, Greece, 200 ancient objects were recovered by the FBI from a storage area in Florida. Paintings by Rembrandt and Bellini stolen during the year from the Nivaagaard Collection in Denmark were recovered after the reward was quadrupled. Pakistani customs officials discovered 25,000 antiquities destined for London, Frankfurt, and Dubayy that had been plundered from poorly guarded museums and excavations in Afghanistan. Russian museums were noting a dramatic rise in thefts, many believed to be to order for private collectors.

      Also, in an act reminiscent of the culture wars of the late 1980s, in the fall New York City's Mayor Rudolph Giuliani cut off city funding to the Brooklyn Museum of Art after the museum displayed a controversial exhibition of contemporary art. The museum responded with a lawsuit, and a federal judge ruled that the city's action violated the First Amendment and ordered the funds restored.

      Some museums sustained damage during the year from both natural and man-made causes. Collections in Greece's National Archaeological Museum were heavily damaged during a strong earthquake that shook Athens. An escaped mental patient slashed a Picasso painting in Amsterdam's Stedelijk Gallery. A second protocol intended to strengthen a 1954 international treaty designed to stop the destruction of cultural property during armed conflict was finalized during the year. The treaty and new protocol, which included protection for museums, was immediately signed by 27 nations.

Helen J. Wechsler; Barry G. Szczesny

▪ 1999


      At the annual meeting of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), held in Amsterdam in August 1998, much of the attention of the approximately 3,300 attendees from 120 countries focused on political, social, and legal issues made more urgent by the breakneck pace of Internet growth. IFLA convened two new standing committees: one to focus on safeguarding freedom of access to information and freedom of expression and one to draft copyright laws appropriate to a publishing environment marked by great diversity. In Helsinki, Fin., at the fifth annual MetaData conference, work continued on developing conventions for describing and categorizing Internet resources.

      Librarians in many countries faced more immediate challenges. In Guinea-Bissau soldiers seized the National Institute of Studies and Research to use as a garrison. Subsequent fighting and the troops' disregard for the institute's contents reportedly destroyed most of the institute's holdings, including unique materials that would have been primary sources for an as-yet-unwritten history of the country. A municipal library and a university were sacked and burned in Shkoder, Alb., during rioting in February. In Bosnia and Herzegovina efforts to resupply libraries destroyed by fighting continued, and in Cambodia Irish librarian Anthony Butler completed a three-year assignment to reorganize the library of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, which had been ravaged by the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. Butler's progress report was dedicated to the librarians slain during the upheaval.

      Economic woes staggered Asian libraries. Currency devaluations halved the buying power of acquisitions budgets in Philippine libraries in just four months. Malaysian government plans to build new libraries were shelved. Half a world away, the British Library was forced to propose a £300 (U.S. $495) annual fee to researchers. Public outrage persuaded officials to abandon the plan, but the budget shortfall remained. China, however, announced plans to build 50,000 new libraries over the next 11 years, and 63 new libraries were scheduled to open soon in Iran.

      Censorship disputes continued unabated, but some were unusual enough to make news. A complaint about the "sickening violence" in a Punch and Judy book caused the public library in Marlborough, Eng., to pull the book from the shelves. In August Indian officials banned imports of the Encyclopædia Britannica on CD-ROM because they were unable to alter or obscure maps and text relating to the country's boundary dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir. The opening of a "video salon" in the library at Tsinghua University, where students could use the Internet and even watch American films, suggested that the Chinese government might be experimenting with relaxing long-standing limitations on access to information.

      Theft remained as persistent as censorship. In 1997 and 1998 valuable works by Ptolemy and Copernicus disappeared from French and Ukrainian libraries, respectively. Some 500 volumes stolen from a Vatican library in 1997 were recovered; however, 200 volumes remained missing. In Hurricane Georges destroyed the entire collection of the Arecibo Regional Public Library in Puerto Rico in late September. The main library on the island nation of Montserrat was to be relocated to remove it from the danger of volcanic eruption.

      The Eric Williams Memorial Collection at the Trinidad and Tobago campus of the University of the West Indies opened during the year. Williams, the first prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago and a respected scholar, was hailed by guest speaker Gen. Colin Powell as a tireless warrior against colonialism. The collection, which consisted of Williams's personal library and archives, was made available to the university by his daughter, Erica Williams Connell.

      In the U.S. the increasing use of the Internet in libraries—a survey released in September showed that more than 73% of the nation's libraries offered public access to the Net—had not come without controversy. In many communities across the nation, libraries were being pressured to install filtering software designed to block access to World Wide Web sites that contained sexually explicit material. In November, however, in a decision with wide-ranging implications, a federal judge in Loudoun county, Va., ruled that public libraries cannot use filtering software on their computer terminals.

      In another controversial trend a growing number of public libraries were contracting out their services to private companies. Following a 1997 agreement in which Riverside county, Calif., turned over the operation of its libraries to a Maryland-based firm, Jersey City, N.J., entered into a similar arrangement in July.

      In the face of congressional opposition to its program to provide discounted telecommunications services to American libraries and schools, the Federal Communications Commission voted to scale back subsidies from $2,250,000,000 to $1,275,000,000 for 1998. The program received more than 30,000 applications in its first year.

      As part of the ongoing $70 million renovation of its Center for the Humanities building on Fifth Avenue, the New York Public Library unveiled the restoration of its Main Reading Room in November. Flooding from a burst water main caused more than $10 million in damage at the Boston Public Library in August, destroying more than 300,000 government documents and damaging much of the sound and film archives. Muddy water that filled the basements of several Stanford University libraries during a February rainstorm damaged about 120,000 books.


      It was a banner year in 1998 for the establishment of new museums. Te Papa, a new national museum on the Wellington waterfront, interpreted the dual influences of the Maori and European settlers in New Zealand. In the Philippines the Museum of the Filipino People, one of three museums that would eventually make up the new National Museum, was inaugurated in June. Two German museums designed by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind were completed—the Jewish Museum in Berlin opened in June, and the Felix Nussbaum Museum in Osnabrück, which was built to house some of the artist's 160 paintings, opened in July; Nussbaum, a local artist, had been killed at Auschwitz. In December the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism opened in Marais, the old Jewish quarter in Paris. Opening in the summer at the Spencer Estate in Great Britain were the shrine, museum, and souvenir stand honouring Diana, princess of Wales. In the U.S. the nation's first Vietnam War museum debuted in Holmdel, N.J., in September, following lengthy discussions regarding the presentation of historical and eyewitness accounts of the war. In Andersonville, Ga., the site of the Civil War's notorious Andersonville prison camp, the National Prisoner of War Museum was dedicated in April. The main exhibit, replete with bayonets and a variety of firearms imbedded into a black wall, re-created for museum patrons the feeling of captivity.

      A year after its opening, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, usurped the position of the Prado in Madrid as the country's most popular museum. The Louvre Museum in Paris completed its $1.2 billion renovation project with the completion of the 10,000-sq m (108,000-sq ft) Egyptian galleries. Outside London, Down House, where Charles Darwin penned The Origin of the Species, reopened to the public in the spring, following extensive renovations. The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam closed for eight months for extensive renovations and the construction of a new wing.

      Museums were increasingly plagued by accusations that their collections contained artworks stolen from Jews and other Nazi victims or taken from museums of occupied countries during and after World War II. Countries dealt with the legalities differently. The Austrian parliament approved legislation that permitted works of art seized by the Nazis and later incorporated into state museums to be returned to their rightful owners. Although Germany identified 17 works in its museums that appeared in an Italian catalog of 1,500 works plundered by the Nazis, it had yet to return them. The Russian Ministry of Culture published the first 2 volumes of a planned 16-volume catalog of art stolen from museums near St. Petersburg during the Nazi occupation. After initially refusing to return any of the so-called trophy art looted from Germany and other countries by the Red Army, Russia later reported that it would return some of the booty. In The Netherlands a request by the heir of a Jewish art collector for the return of 160 paintings hanging in 17 Dutch museums was rejected on the grounds that the collector's widow had not pressed for the recovery of the art directly after the war. France returned one of the 2,000 art objects that were confiscated by the Nazis. The heirs to some 30 works held in Hungarian museums continued to lobby for the return of the collection, valued at between $8 million and $14.5 million. In an effort to encourage the return of more artworks, the U.S. Department of State was cohost of an international conference that dealt with the issue of restitution of the remaining art and other goods looted during the war. Many U.S. museums were called upon to research the provenance of their collections, including objects from nations with strict patrimony laws as well as artworks that may have been looted during the Holocaust. The U.S. Congress held public hearings on the latter issue in February and later established a commission to investigate further steps. Despite all of the attention, few claims for restitution were actually lodged; all museums involved promised full cooperation.

      Political movements were also afoot to aid museums. In Great Britain the Labour Party injected huge sums of money into the country's museums, with the goal of offering free admission by 2001. Iranian Pres. Mohammad Khatami, the nation's former minister of culture, spearheaded the exhibition of a treasure of Western masters hidden away in the vaults of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran after the Islamic government forbade its display. In April an unprecedented meeting of museum professionals from across the Western Hemisphere gathered in Costa Rica to address the significant and positive role museums played in sustaining the culture of their communities.

      Riding economic good times, American museums continued to prosper in 1998. The American Association of Museums reported that at least $4.3 billion would be spent on museum infrastructure during 1998-2000, with at least 55 new institutions planned. The public flocked to institutions both new and old—the new art museum at the Getty Center in Los Angeles attracted nearly twice as many guests as anticipated, and advance tickets for the Van Gogh exhibition in Washington, D.C., sold out within a few days.

      Museums continued to affirm a primary role in American formal education—by year's end at least 19 public schools were located on museum grounds or run by museum personnel. Museums also moved steadily into the digital era, establishing hundreds of individual World Wide Web sites. Several major institutions formed consortia aimed at setting standards for design, research, reproduction, and financial and legal issues surrounding digitized collections.


▪ 1998


      Around the globe, libraries captured headlines in 1997 as they were struck by wars or natural disasters and became the subjects of political disputes.

      Flooding in Europe during the summer took a heavy toll on some 100 libraries in Poland, where institutions in 23 of the country's 49 administrative districts reported significant damage to collections, buildings, and equipment. At the Academy of Medicine in Wroclaw, some 40% of the library's 300,000 volumes were damaged. Although some 20,000 volumes were destroyed at the University of Wroclaw, the efforts of volunteers saved one of the most outstanding collections of old prints and manuscripts in Europe.

      Conflict in Albania resulted in destruction or damage to libraries in Tiranë, where an agricultural library was looted and burned; Sarandë, where the Italian Library was destroyed; and Vlorë, where a public library was heavily damaged. In July police in Purna, India, opened fire on demonstrators who were attempting to burn a college library. The incident was precipitated by the desecration of a statue representing a leader of a lower social caste. Librarians from the United States continued their efforts to rebuild the collection of the war-ravaged National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

      When libraries made news without mention of destruction or physical violence, censorship was often the issue. Election victories in France by the extreme-right-wing National Front in the cities of Orange, Marignane, Toulon, and Vitrolles resulted both in materials' being removed from library shelves by city officials and in firings and wholesale resignations of librarians who opposed the actions. The library in Orange faced imminent shutdown. French leaders, including Pres. Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin ), (Jospin, Lionel ) condemned the National Front, and the French legislature considered issuing a "library bill of rights," but many observers believed that the situation would worsen before it improved. In response to a suit filed by the American Library Association and other groups, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, which sought to ban the on-line transmission of "indecent" material. Meanwhile, public libraries across the U.S. faced pressure from politicians and citizens groups to install filtering software to prevent children and other patrons from accessing sexually explicit materials on the Internet.

      The provocative design and the staggering cost (some $1.5 billion) of the National Library of France, a part of which opened in December 1996, also caused controversy in France. Wooden shutters were added to the building's four L-shaped glass towers after librarians and scholars warned of the damage that sunlight would inflict on the books. The appearance of the shutters and the building's location in a remote area in Paris drew bitter criticism.

      Other national libraries made more upbeat news. Die Deutsche Bibliotek, a new German national library in Frankfurt, was dedicated in early May. The contemporary building housed some 15 million volumes. The Frankfurt library had an annex in Berlin, where the music collection resided, and another in Leipzig, which duplicated the Frankfurt collection in addition to boasting a few specialized collections of its own. In Nicaragua the Banco Central de Nicaragua had served as a national library since 1964. After the building was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1972, however, the library was housed in "temporary" quarters. With a new bank building nearing completion, the library would soon return to a permanent home. In Egypt the government agreed to underwrite the budget of the Library of Alexandria, currently under construction near the site of the original edifice, built around 300 BC. The long-standing process leading to the opening of the new British Library at St. Pancras, London, continued. Some departments were opened, while other collections were still in the process of being moved. On May 1 the U.S. Library of Congress reopened its 1897 Thomas Jefferson Building following a 12-year-long, $102 million restoration and modernization.

      In what was hailed as the greatest gift to American libraries since Andrew Carnegie financed the construction of 1,600 libraries at the turn of the 20th century, Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda French Gates, announced in June that they would bestow $200 million to establish the nonprofit Gates Library Foundation to bring computers into public libraries in low-income communities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Microsoft would also match their cash contribution with $200 million in training and software.

      The Federal Communications Commission voted in May to provide discounted telecommunications services to U.S. libraries and schools, a measure that would lower the cost of hooking up to the Internet computer network by up to 90%. The plan would limit the amount of discounts to $2,250,000,000 annually, beginning in 1998, and the revenue would be raised by billing homes and businesses with more than one phone line a higher federal monthly charge.

      In South Africa two racially separated professional associations of librarians formally united, while in Copenhagen 2,976 librarians from 141 countries attended (August 31 to September 5) the 63rd Council and General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Grant support enabled about 140 librarians from less-developed countries to attend that conference. The New York Public Library launched a drive in September to raise $500 million to take the institution into the 21st century. The campaign was reportedly the largest fund-raising effort ever undertaken by an American cultural institution.

      This article updates library.

      Many important new museums opened in 1997, and some old ones were renovated. In South Africa the Robben Island Museum and the Museum of the Freedom Struggle opened on the site of the prison used during the nation's apartheid era to imprison black political activists, including South African Pres. Nelson Mandela. The American Air Museum in Britain, devoted primarily to the U.S.'s cooperation with Great Britain in World War II, was dedicated during the summer in Duxford, Eng. The Famine Museum in Stokestown, Ire., opened 150 years after the Irish potato famine, a subject previously too painful for commemoration, and a historic cemetery used to bury famine victims was restored. In Egypt a new museum devoted to mummies and the process of mummification was inaugurated.

      Striking architecture characterized several new museum structures. Perhaps the most stunning was the $100 million Guggenheim Museum building in Bilbao, Spain. Designed by Frank Gehry, it was being heralded as the most creative work of architecture of its time and was to play a central part in a plan to transform this industrial city, which had been plagued by Basque separatist violence. Another architectural wonder, newMetropolis, a science and technology centre, opened in Amsterdam's historic harbour front.

      The Georges Pompidou National Art and Cultural Centre in Paris closed for two years for renovations that would allow it to handle its growing crowds of visitors. Likewise, as part of a major effort to increase the economic boon of cultural tourism, Venice was undertaking a major renovation of the museum and palace that line St. Mark's Square. Work also began during the year on Florence's renowned Uffizi Gallery to significantly expand the museum. Meanwhile, in Rome, the Borghese Gallery, one of the world's finest art collections, finally reopened in 1997 after 14 years of renovation. The famous Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam closed for six months for extensive renovations and the construction of a new wing.

      The year was also marked by struggle and change in the museums of the former communist nations. The reunification of Berlin's museums began as Old Master paintings that had been divided between museums in East and West Berlin were moved to the new GemŠldegalerie, scheduled to open in 1998. In Moscow the Tretyakov Gallery, which housed the world's finest collection of medieval icons, was heavily in debt owing to cutbacks in government support. Meanwhile, amid attacks from art critics and historians, Moscow funded a new museum dedicated to the art of Aleksandr Shilov, a living artist whose ultrarealistic portraits were considered kitsch by many. Belarus displayed an exhibit of masterpieces by its native son Marc Chagall in Minsk. Because his works previously had been banned by Soviet authorities, not one piece was permanently displayed in Belarus.

      The issue of art displaced during World War II remained prominent during the year. In France a government report noted nearly 2,000 works in French museums that had been seized or purchased by the Nazis from Jews in France. These works, distributed among various French museums, were highlighted for exhibits in an attempt to promote claims by rightful owners or their heirs. Some criticized the French for having retained these works without undertaking an active search for their owners. Russia's parliament passed nearly unanimously, overriding Pres. Boris Yeltsin's veto, a law that vested ownership in Russia of nearly 200,000 works taken by the Soviet army from German museums and private collections following the war. Russia argued that the works were rightfully theirs, small payment for their losses during the war.

      The problem of thefts from museums continued to be a significant issue. London became the centre of an illegal trade in treasures from Iraq, where economic sanctions resulted in the looting of museums and archaeological sites for economic gain.


      Many in the American media called 1997 a golden age for art museums; audiences thronged to learn—and also to shop, dine, and socialize. Not surprisingly, policy makers looked at museums and saw an answer to their every problem. Revitalize downtown? Attract tourists? Celebrate the millennium? Let museums do it. Thus, the question that emerged was how museums could satisfy public expectations for delivering every kind of social benefit while somehow remaining true to their mission of preserving scientific, historical, and artistic artifacts and interpreting them for the public.

      One initiative that began to take shape during the year was a data-collection project to address a huge gap in available information. As of the end of 1997, there were no answers to the most basic questions on the number of museums in the U.S. or the size of their collections and audiences.

      The most spectacular event of the year was not a blockbuster exhibition but rather the opening of a blockbuster institution—the Getty Center in Los Angeles. The billion-dollar campus, including a museum as well as centres for art history, conservation, and education, was gradually introduced to the public by a series of tours, press accounts, and conferences beginning in January. The official opening occurred in December.


      See also Art, Antiques, and Collections .

      This article updates museum.

▪ 1997


      In 1996 libraries around the world were both shaping their collections and being shaped by the continued spectacular growth of the Internet, a worldwide network of computers. The role of libraries as disseminators and providers of some of the most valued information available on the Internet was a heartening development for a profession that had historically experienced limited visibility, respect, and prestige. Equally important to librarians, however, was the growing promise of the Internet to mitigate some of their most pressing problems: static or shrinking resources and ever-growing demands for information and services. Affordable technologies allowed libraries to retrieve text, images, and sound rapidly from remote locations around the globe. In April the New York Public Library, as part of its centennial celebration, served as host of a summit attended by leaders from 50 of the world's main libraries to discuss the "Global Library Strategies for the 21st Century."

      Although the Internet is too diffuse and volatile to categorize easily, most of the host computers and users were located in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. The relative dearth of development in Africa and Latin America added credence to librarians' concerns for the "info-poor." Indeed, while thousands of libraries logged onto the Internet in 1996, a donkey-powered bookmobile plied the countryside in Zimbabwe.

      In many parts of the world, national libraries and governments played a leading role in developing new facilities and resources. Turkey appointed a librarian to develop a national network of university libraries, while the government in Singapore announced plans to spend S$1 billion to enhance and expand library services with a goal of making Singapore a "Renaissance City of the New Asia." The initiative would also provide librarians with high-tech training, regular salary reviews, and career structures to transform them into "cybrarians" and "knowledge navigators."

      Spectacular and expensive national library buildings neared completion in England, France, and Denmark. Other libraries continued to digitize catalogs, collections, and other data to enable 24-hour-a-day access from anywhere in the world. The British Library, for example, introduced GABRIEL (Gateway and Bridge to Europe's National Libraries), an on-line multilingual directory that offered a single point of access to a number of national libraries in Europe.

      In Egypt the Library of Alexandria neared completion, while the Shanghai Library, China's second largest facility, planned to enhance its collection and on-line services by moving into a new 830,000-sq m (8,934,000-sq ft) facility, also home to that city's Institute of Scientific and Technical Information. Increased access to the contents of the Internet, particularly World Wide Web sites, produced a number of concerns. While the Chinese government announced plans to limit and/or screen out some electronic information, public libraries worried about children accessing some very adult images and text. In the U.S. the American Library Association was the lead plaintiff in a suit challenging the Communications Decency Act, which sought to ban as "indecent" a broad category of electronic information. In June, however, a federal district court ruled the act unconstitutional. Copyright infringement was another complex problem exacerbated by a wired world.

      Attempts to restore the collections and bibliographic records of the war-ravaged National Library of Bosnia continued with assistance from UNESCO and OCLC (the Online Library Computer Center of Dublin, Ohio). No decision had been made, however, about the fate of the ornate Euro-arabesque building, though proposals were made to either leave the structure unrestored as a memorial or restore it to its original function as Sarajevo's city hall. Restoration of the Accademia dei Georgofili, the museum library of Florence's Uffizi Gallery, also continued. The Uffizi had been damaged in 1993 by a bomb blast that Italian police blamed on the Mafia.

      In the U.S., San Francisco opened the most technically advanced library in the world. The seven-story New Main facility occupied 35,000 sq m (376,000 sq ft) and boasted 11 special-interest centres and 400 computer workstations, 100 of them with Internet access. Some denounced the discarding of about 200,000 books and a decision, later rescinded, to dispose of the card catalog. The New York Public Library opened a new $100 million Science, Industry, and Business Library for use by the general public and small businesses.

      Microsoft chairman Bill Gates announced a $10.5 million program called Libraries Online!, which would help 41 libraries in North America expand their electronic services. A survey conducted by the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science showed that 45% of public libraries in the U.S. were connected to the Internet.

      The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) held its annual meeting in Beijing in August. IFLA also launched its own World Wide Web site, IFLANET, which could be accessed by association members in 70 nations.


      This article updates library.

      The year 1996 was marked by anniversaries, new beginnings, and the continuation of powerful trends in museums throughout the world. In November the International Council of Museums (ICOM) celebrated its 50th anniversary. Founded by Chauncey Hamlin of the U.S. soon after the end of World War II, ICOM was conceived in the shadow of the United Nations as an organization that would unite museums across the globe to promote cultural understanding and world peace. By 1996 it had some 13,000 members in 145 countries. The anniversary celebrations took place at the Louvre in Paris, the location of ICOM's founding.

      In May museums throughout the Arab world convened in Egypt for the first meeting of ICOM's Regional Organization for Arab Countries. The group planned to develop a handbook in order to standardize the compilation of inventories (an important tool in fighting theft and illicit trafficking of cultural objects) and also to set up a system for exchanging information within the region.

      The first world meeting of representatives from science centres and science museums took place in June in Vantaa, Fin. Jointly organized by the Association of Science-Technology Centers in the U.S. and the European Collaborative for Science, Industry and Technology Exhibitions, the theme for this gathering was "Learning for Tomorrow" and focused on the important role these institutions played in science education and new technologies.

      Blockbuster exhibitions were mounted throughout the world in 1996. Most notably, an exhibition of paintings by Jan Vermeer drew record crowds at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (See Art Exhibitions (Art, Antiques, and Collections ).)

      Several museums opened during the year. Among them was the Jean Tinguely Museum in Basel, Switz., in a building designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta. The museum contained 30% of Tinguely's surviving work. Japan began work on the nation's first museum commemorating World War II amid protests by many Japanese, who claimed that the museum, whose mission was to focus on the suffering of Japanese families and soldiers, offered a one-sided view of history. During the summer, on the anniversary of the inaugural flight of the first zeppelin in 1900, the Zeppelin Museum was opened in Friedrichshafen, Ger., the town where Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin began his enterprise. A new museum opened in Shanghai in October and quickly gained acclaim for its outstanding collection of ancient Chinese art.

      Museums in many parts of the world continued to suffer from damage caused by armed conflict as well as by natural disasters. In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, collections were being stored in the basements of museum buildings battered by four years of war. Museums in Grozny, Chechnya, were also badly damaged by the conflict of that republic with Russia.

      New efforts were made during the year to combat the effects of these disasters. To provide a quick response in cases of emergency, the International Committee of the Blue Shield (ICBS) was created through the cooperation of ICOM, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Council on Archives, and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The ICBS aimed to provide advice in cases of natural disaster or armed conflict, to facilitate international response, to encourage respect for cultural property, and to promote higher standards of risk preparedness.

      Museums continued to grapple with new technologies during the year; an increasing number were developing sites on the Internet and using multimedia within their exhibits. Issues of copyright were being hotly debated as museums and artists fought to retain their rights to images while also realizing the benefit of making those images accessible through digitalization. (HELEN J. WECHSLER)

      U.S. museums faced dizzying changes during 1996. Dealing with the challenges of new technology, a downsizing federal government, and increasing competition, they were forced to present themselves as innovative, self-sufficient, and, above all, relevant to issues ranging from economic development to educational reform.

      Perhaps the most exciting developments involved the new technologies as hundreds of institutions loaded the Internet with information on collections and programs. The most sophisticated experimented with revolutionary programming such as the on-line exhibition. Combining visual presentation of artifacts, essays, bibliographies, and outreach materials for teachers and schools, these shows gathered all of the elements of the traditional exhibition into a single "virtual" venue. Some institutions also began to digitize collections with the help of a new federal program that funded community-wide information infrastructure projects.

      Museums strengthened their role in formal education during the year. Taking advantage of new legislation at the state level, two children's museums, one history-technology museum, and one natural history museum established semi-independent "charter" schools, joining the many museums that had cooperative programs with local public schools. All used museum collections for multidisciplinary instruction, modeling new ways to teach and learn, while the best also served as resources for other educators in their regions. (ANDREW FINCH)

      See also Art, Antiques, and Collections .

      This article updates museum.

▪ 1996


      During 1995 various events demonstrated the uncertainties facing libraries in a rapidly changing world. Two commonly held, but fully opposed, notions about libraries aptly articulated those uncertainties. One held that libraries serve a totemic function, that architecturally grand and massive library buildings stand as symbols of the wisdom and culture of the organizations that create them. The second notion stated that physical libraries would cease to exist; the library of the future would be a television set capable of retrieving all of the world's wisdom and culture through the Internet.

      Supporting the totemic view was the 1995 dedication of the new Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia, that country's national library. The Kuala Lumpur facility employed architectural treatments, particularly in the shape of its blue roof, that reflected the cultural heritage of Malaysia. Reviled by Britain's Prince Charles and legions of others, and becoming a metaphor for national disarray, the new British Library at St. Pancras station was now—after some 30 years of work, delay, cost overruns, and controversy—completely visible. In 1995 some critics cautiously announced that the building may be not an architectural abomination but rather an exciting and edifying edifice. Meanwhile, across the English Channel, France rushed, nearly successfully, to complete the construction of the National Library of France during Pres. François Mitterrand's term of office because Mitterrand considered the library, located on the Left Bank of the Seine, to be a part of his legacy. The design employed four L-shaped glass towers, each resembling an open book. Reading areas were located below. The design outraged many bibliophiles because exposure to sunlight makes preservation of materials problematic.

      The new public library in San Antonio, Texas, also caused architectural controversy; Denver, Colo., and Phoenix, Ariz., also opened new downtown central libraries in 1995. The New York Public Library celebrated its centennial on May 20 and in November announced the receipt of $15 million—the largest one-time benefaction in its history—to renovate the historic Main Reading Room. On the last day of the year, San Francisco's Main Library closed. The books would be moved to a new building across the street.

      The Oklahoma City, Okla., downtown library was closed for just over a month following the explosion that devastated the nearby federal office building on April 19. The bomb blew out 90% of the library's windows as well as causing extensive ceiling damage on the upper floors.

      Even as countries, cities, and universities built grand symbols of culture and learning, librarians worked to create an electronic future that might make those structures obsolete. Worldwide, budgets lagged behind demands for materials and services, and librarians, particularly in less-developed nations, knew that a computer and an Internet connection were less expensive than a large collection. North America and Western Europe continued to lead, but many of the fastest-growing computerized library networks were in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific.

      Cooperative ventures abounded. The 1995 General Conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, held in August in Istanbul, focused on turning the global promise of the Internet into a reality. The European Union was funding projects that promoted resource sharing within and across borders. A record-breaking 13,178 paid registrants at the American Library Association's 114th annual conference in Chicago heard new ALA Executive Director Elizabeth Martinez announce "ALA Goal 2000," a five-year plan to position the association for the Information Age. In February the U.S. Library of Congress unveiled Thomas, a new computer system (named for Thomas Jefferson) giving citizens Internet access to information on the workings of Congress. The library came under attack when it closed an exhibit on slavery the day after it opened. Several black officers and staff members had complained.

      Amid charges of a cover-up of recent book mutilations at the Library of Congress, the U.S. General Accounting Office planned to conduct a review of the library's management as well as oversee a federal investigation of the damage. Public library circulation in the U.S. showed a modest decline of 3% in 1994, while expenditures leveled off to keep pace with inflation, according to the annual University of Illinois survey. In the face of declining circulation and diminishing advertising revenues, the 81-year-old Wilson Library Bulletin ceased publication in June.


      This updates the article library.

      The year 1995 saw the "information superhighway" become part of the mainstream of museum work. Systems for transmitting and receiving high-quality graphic images were developing rapidly, and museums throughout the world began to exploit the great potential of publication and communication on the World Wide Web. By midyear the Virtual Library museums Web site, originated by Jonathan Bowen at the University of Oxford, had received a quarter of a million "hits" (electronic visits), and an average of one new museum site was being added every day. Some, like the Vatican Museums and Galleries, even offered a "virtual museum visit." Some feared that virtual visits could replace real museum visits, but initial evidence suggested the opposite. The International Council of Museums (ICOM) also established an electronic presence during the year, supported by the Swedish National Museum of Natural History.

      The triennial ICOM World Congress of Museums in July in Stavanger, Norway, focused attention on the "economic liberalization" policies of many governments that had resulted in major reductions in the level of public funding or in the privatization of museums—or even outright closures. For example, the government of Zimbabwe decided to phase out subsidies for its national museums and monuments service and replace them with capital investments in income-generating initiatives. Likewise, major collections in Russia were developing video and CD-ROM products with an eye to replacing moneys not forthcoming from the state.

      A June 1995 advisory from a mission of museum experts from Quebec to Armenia recommended that all available funds be earmarked for saving a few national museums and creating a secure storage facility for the remaining collections.

      In one of the most remarkable openings of 1995, the national Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb, Croatia, completely reconstructed the famous Secessionist building. The new Museum of Sydney, Australia, explores the interaction between the British settlers and the Aboriginal population over two centuries. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum brought a spectacular building designed by I.M. Pei to a lakeside setting in Cleveland, Ohio. The new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, was expected to anchor a revitalized museum centre that would include a Jewish museum and a Mexican museum, which launched a fivefold expansion into a new $15 million facility. That city's M.H. de Young Memorial Museum undertook a $61 million bond measure to construct earthquake-proof galleries.

      The new "punk architecture" art museum in the old city centre of Groningen, Neth., masterminded by Alessandro Mendini (designer of the Swatch watch), and the new home of the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, Neth., designed by Aldo Rossi, also won acclaim. The Brooklyn (N.Y.) Museum opened its reinstallation of the African Galleries, and Philadelphia's Museum of Art concluded its three-year-long reinstallation of 80 European art galleries. University museum-expansion projects included the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington and the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, Fla. In Egypt the former Nileside villa of politician and art collector Mahmoud Khalil, which housed his collection of European masters, opened. Other world museums announcing major renovation and expansion plans included London's Tate Gallery, Madrid's Prado, and New York City's American Museum of Natural History and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

      New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art received a surprise gift of $35 million—one of the largest in its history—from Frank A. Cosgrove, Jr., while Olga Hirshhorn, widow of the founder of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., promised her 700-work modern art collection to another Washington institution, the Corcoran Gallery of Art. For much of the year, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington was involved in the debate about the Enola Gay exhibit. (See Sidebar (MUSEUMS: The Smithsonian ).)

      The Los Angeles-based nonprofit Lannan Foundation announced that it would end its exhibition program and disperse its 1,500 works of 20th-century modernist art to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts met its fiscal deficit by cutting 20% of its personnel and scaling back exhibition activities. The museum also finalized a plan to establish its first foreign branch. In exchange for a 20-year loan of art works, Nagoya, Japan, offered a facility and a $50 million donation to the Boston Museum.


      See also Art, Antiques, and Collections .

      This updates the article museum.

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