restricted access Cultural Policy in a Time of War: The American Response to Endangered Books in World War II

For the first time in U.S. history, the protection of books and other cultural resources became an official war aim during World War II. Examining the broad historical process by which this policy was formed and executed, this article focuses on three key factors: the new role of intellectual and cultural elites, who forged close ties with the state; the expansion of intelligence gathering and its unintended consequences for the preservation of cultural material; and the extraordinary actions of individual librarians, curators, and ordinary soldiers on the ground, who improvised solutions to the problems of preservation and restoration.