Drawing upon archival sources from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP) and the Nicholas Murray Butler papers, this article situates postwar reconstruction of the library within the context of the wider internationalist movement and interwar attempts to replace nationalism with internationalism as a means to guarantee an enduring peace. The article analyzes the manner this library served as a symbol of the destruction of cultural heritage, civilization's conquest over barbarism, and the potential for moving beyond a state system focused on warfare. By contrasting the actions of the CEIP and the international library community that supported the project, this article views the campaign to rebuild the library through attempts to promote internationalism and foster reconciliation in Europe, exposing the difficulties faced by internationalists working in a transnational context to sway public opinion and overcome the power of nationalism as an animating force among states and citizens.
- transnational history
- University of Louvain Library