Dr. Lee graduated from National Taiwan Normal University, and received a Masters of Education from the University of Pittsburgh, a Masters in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. For forty years he has held professional library positions at Pittsburgh, Duquesne, Edinboro (Pennsylvania), Colorado State, as well as Ohio University, where he was dean of the libraries for twenty-one years. Between 1968 and 1975, he served in the Library and Information Center of the Asian Institute of Technology and at Chulalongkorn University, both in Bangkok, Thailand.
At Ohio University, Dr. Lee transformed a modest library into a library that achieved membership in the Association of Research Libraries. He also developed international collections for Southeast Asian Studies as well as for other parts of the world. He was a founding member and advisor to OhioLINK, a statewide system pooling materials of all major academic libraries into one unified entity. In 1979, he initiated a highly successful internship program that brought librarians from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Central America to the university. To date, over 175 librarians have participated in the program. He is known as an extremely effective fund raiser. Under his leadership, the endowments of the Ohio University libraries grew to over $8 million and other grants reached an excess of $2.5 million. Dr. Lee is well-known in international librarianship. He has served as a library consultant and lecturer in countries throughout Asia, including China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, under sponsorship from numerous organizations that include the Asia Foundation, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, the Japan Foundation for Global Partnership, UNESCO, OCLC, and others. Dr. Lee has organized numerous international conferences both in the United States and abroad and has given service on international councils and committees. He is the author of three books and some sixty articles, conference papers, and consultant reports, as well as having edited conference proceedings.
Throughout his career he has received awards and recognitions, including multiple year listings in various Who's Who publications. Upon his retirement many organizations presented him with awards for distinguished service, including the American Library Association, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, Chinese American Librarians Association, the Library Association of China (Taiwan), OhioLINK, Ohionet, and others. In 1999, Ohio University named the first floor of the Vernon R. Alden Library (the main library) the Hwa-Wei Lee Center for International Collections, and by resolution of the Board of Trustees of the University a new library building was named the Hwa-Wei Lee Library Annex.
Area Studies Collections
Library of Congress