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For immediate release: May 2, 2003
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Richard Ludwig, professor, librarian and expert in rare books, dies

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Richard Ludwig, 82, emeritus professor of English at Princeton University and the former associate University librarian for rare books and special collections, died Monday, April 28, at his home in Princeton.

An authority on American literature, Ludwig is credited with expanding the library's special collections, particularly holdings of significant 20th-century American authors. Under his leadership from 1974 to 1986, the collections grew dramatically, with large and important acquisitions, including works by Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Allan Tate, John Keats, Sir Thomas More, Aldus Huxley, Woodrow Wilson, Adlai Stevenson, Allen Dulles and the publishing companies Henry Holt and Scribner and Sons. He managed the expansion of the staff and the department’s quarters, including the construction of the Milberg exhibition gallery and the Seeley Mudd Manuscript Library.

"His major triumph was shepherding the Howard Behrman donation to the University," said Stephen Ferguson, curator of rare books at the library and former colleague of Ludwig. "Dr. Behrman did not have a connection to Princeton -- he was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Dick Ludwig developed that very important relationship for the University. Behrman's donations added substantially to the Library's endowment and enriched our holdings of important 19th- and early 20th-century American authors."

Ludwig was regarded as an outstanding teacher and academic adviser whose students stayed in touch with him throughout their adult lives, Ferguson said. In 2001, one of his former students, Michael Spence, the winner of Nobel Prize in economics, established the Richard M. Ludwig Endowment Fund for the purchase of rare books and manuscripts for the University library. The New York collector Leonard Milberg, a member of Princeton's class of 1953, donated major collections, one in American poetry and one in Irish poetry, to the library in Ludwig’s honor. When he retired in 1986, the Viscountess Eccles presented the Raymond Mortimer Papers to the library to mark Ludwig’s achievements.

Born in Reading, Pa., Ludwig received his A.B. in English from the University of Michigan in 1942 and his M.A. from Harvard University in 1943. After serving in the army during World War II, he returned to Harvard University and earned a Ph.D in English in 1950. He joined Princeton's Department of English faculty in 1950 as an instructor and was named a full professor in 1968. In 1974, Ludwig was appointed the head of the University library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Ludwig was the editor of several reviews and monographs, including "Aspects of American Poetry" and "Letters of Ford Madox Ford." He was co-editor of "Guide to American Literature Since 1890," "Literary History of the United States," "Major American Writers," "Nine Short Novels" and several other titles. He was a member of the English Literature Board at McGraw-Hill and general editor of the Pegasus American Authors Series.

He was the recipient of many University awards, including a Bicentennial Preceptorship and the McCosh Faculty Fellowship, one of the highest honors for faculty members.

The son of the late Ralph O. Ludwig and Millie M. Ludwig, he has no survivors. At Ludwig’s request, there will be no memorial service. The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

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