USIA Sends 60 American Studies Collections Abroad - Sixty sets -- each comprising a core of 1,300 volumes of current scholarship in American history, government, and culture --are in the process of being shipping to or arriving at universities in South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. As a result of legislation passed in 1994 and spearheaded by Professor Joyce Appleby when she was President of the Organization of American Historians, the Congress created a $2 million endowment fund for this initi ative. The intent of the American Studies Collection project is to provide foreign students, teachers, and scholars with the opportunity to increase their understanding of American history, politics, and culture.
The U.S. Information Agency (USIA)'s Division for the Study of the U.S. administers the project and has developed cooperative agreements for servicing the collection with the libraries at 60 universities abroad with American Studies programs. One of the most frequently heard laments of American scholars who have taught abroad is the difficulties of teaching without even the most rudimentary library resources. The American Studies Collections initiative is addressing a very real problem that has seriously handicapped the teaching of American studies abroad.