Letter to Andrew Carnegie


Andrew Carnegie died on August 11, 1919. Now, 100 years after his death, the leadership of the Carnegie institutions who honor and carry on his legacy, and Mr. Carnegie‚Äôs great-grandson, William Thomson, have written letters to Andrew Carnegie recording their collective achievements, future aspirations, and even some failures, in a singular publication, Letters to Andrew Carnegie.

The Letter to Andrew Carnegie by Erik de Baedts, Director of the Carnegie Foundation | Peace Palace contains a fragment on the Peace Palace Library.

"Given your ideas on education and peace, you insisted that a standard library of international law be based at the Peace Palace, too. You established that this Peace Palace Library should also be maintained in perpetuity, and committed the Dutch government to that end.

Even with your strong belief in technology, you might not believe how a technology that could not be foreseen in your lifetime currently impacts this same library a century beyond its conception. In our day and age, the sharing of information primarily takes place through what you would probably see as a virtual reality, a global web of machines connected both by cables and wireless, giving access to the most diverse sources of information to people all around the world who can afford the technology and the tools.

This technology is considered by some a reason why this library would now become redundant. Those who, together with you, believe in the importance of the book, and understand the work of lawyers and academics, realise that books will always be the primary source for sharing knowledge and insights, even more so for the judges and the arbitrators who have to study all relevant resources to develop and underpin their awards. Therefore, no matter what form a book may take in the future, we struggle peacefully but diligently to maintain this crucial facility, the knowledge infrastructure you created for promoting peace through law."

          Erik de Baedts, Director of the Carnegie Foundation | Peace Palace