Billington was a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an honorary Professor of Moscow state University
At the age of 89 at a hospital in Washington where he died distinguished American scholar of Russian culture, which for three decades led the Library of Congress, James Billington. It is stated in the statement library.
“He will be remembered as a visionary leader, outstanding scientist, a great American”, — said the current library Director Carla Hayden</b>.
Billington led the library of Congress for 28 years — from 1987 to 2015. During this time, the library collection has almost doubled, to 160 million units. Under his leadership, the library Fund has replenished with a number of rare historical documents, her store has been greatly expanded and modernized. His vision of the library was that she could be “active catalyst of civilization,” in contrast to “passive mausoleum” for dusty volumes.
The library of Congress now owns the world’s largest collection of audio and video materials and the most ambitious program for the conservation of documents on paper.
James Hadley Billington was born in Bryn Maur, Pennsylvania, June 1, 1929. At the world fair 1939 in new York as a young Billington was fascinated by the ambitious engineering plans of the Soviet Union. During the Second world war Russian friend of mine recommended him to read “War and peace”. “After this, no book seemed too long”, — Billington told the Washington Post. He took Russian lessons from the widow of a Russian officer. Through it “has absorbed the culture of Imperial Russia”.
Billington had mastered the Russian language, was a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and an honorary Professor of Moscow state University. He was also awarded the order of Friendship of the Russian President for development of Russian-American relations. The Billington is the creation of the Institute for advanced Russian studies George Kennan in Washington — the leading expert of the center for Russian studies in the United States.