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A new arrangement has recently been made with the department of the ministry of education at Berlin for the establishment of the "Amerika Institut" to be devoted to the improvement of intellectual relations between Germany and the United States. It is limited to the improvement of mutual relations and interests in research, scholarship, education, professional courtesies, literature, and art. Professor Hugo Muensterberg, who is exchange professor at the University of Berlin for the current academic year, is the inventor and promoter of the enterprise and is serving as the first director of the "Institut." It has been endowed for $20,000 by German-American bankers and other persons who are interested in the advance of social and educational co-operation between the citizens of the two countries.
Professor Muensterberg, in explaining the purpose and intentions of the American institute, said: "The establishment may be recognized as a new departure in international relations, and is to be devoted to promoting culture between Germany and the United States. Everything political and commercial lies outside of its realm. Its chief emphasis will lie on the interests of scholarship and research, of education and travel and social connections.
"One of the most important functions of the institute will be the exchange of documents and scholarly literature through the agency of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, and probably also the protection of the American copyright for German books. A large library for the study of historic, economic and social problems of America will be connected with the bureau.
"The services of the staff will be at the disposal of the American institutions, scholars, and students, and particular emphasis will be laid on the effort to bring American men of science and research into convenient contact with German universities, bureaus, archives, museums, libraries, laboratories and hospitals.
"American books will be translated and circulated in Germany and German books in America. Participation in international exhibitions and congresses expeditions and artistic, economic and scientific enterprises will be simplified and furthered. In short, the institute will try to be useful in all departments of cultural life."
Steps have already been taken to create an American library in connection with the institute and a considerable collection of American books has been donated by publishers and authors. The idea is to make American literature better known to the Germans who have not formerly had the opportunity to appreciate its worth.
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