During the years I have been associated with the Madison Council and the Library of Congress, I have seen how supplementary private sector resources can help propel an institution like the Library beyond its government-supported role to become a leader in education and scholarship. My hope is that this new award will build on these accomplishments and enhance the dialog between scholars and lawmakers to the benefit of our larger democratic society." — John W. Kluge
Founded on the basis of an endowment provided by the late John W. Kluge, the Kluge Prize recognizes and celebrates work of the highest quality and greatest impact in areas that advance understanding of the human experience. The prize is awarded for lifetime achievement in fields of humanistic and social science studies that are not included in the Nobel Prizes, most notably history, philosophy, politics, psychology, anthropology, sociology, religious studies, linguistics, and criticism in the arts and humanities. The study of humanity is a key part of academia, but it is a study not pursued solely in academic institutions. The prize recipient can make his/her contribution in fields such as the media, the performing or literary arts, or in public service institutions. Unique insights and understandings are also developed in these arenas. Prize winners must have earned unusual distinction within a given area, and their body of work must demonstrate growth in maturity and range over a sustained period of time and must affect perspectives and vision in other areas of study and walks of life. The work of the Prize winner must exemplify values and ways of thinking that have meaning for scholars in a variety of fields, for those involved in public affairs and for the average layperson. The Kluge Prize is international; the recipient may be of any nationality, writing in any language. View all past Kluge Prize winners
The Prize is administered by the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress. The Center was established in 2000 to foster a mutually enriching relationship between the world of ideas and the world of action, between scholars and political leaders. The Center attracts to Washington outstanding figures in the scholarly world – both very senior and very junior—and facilitates their access to the Library’s remarkable collection of the world’s knowledge and engages them in conversation with the U.S. Congress and other public figures. The Center also supports the most promising rising generation of junior researchers. Lectures and other scholarly events contribute to a vibrant community and enrich the intellectual life of Washington. Learn more about the Kluge Prize process
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the world’s largest library. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding by providing access to its incomparably rich and multi-faceted collections, many of which are freely available via this Web site.