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The Supreme Madness of the Carnival Season

“…one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season…”–Edgar Allan Poe “The Cask of Amontillado” Although Americans do not have a monopoly on Carnival, when we think of Mardi Gras, New Orleans inevitably comes to mind. Given the volume of visitors and events that take place in the city during this season, it is no surprise […]

Concurrent Resolutions for Lying in State

The recent passing of Senator Inouye [D-HI] led to a discussion among some friends about who can lie in state in the Capitol.  I asked the Law Library’s instructional librarian, Pam Craig, whether it took an act of Congress to permit this.  And indeed it does. To allow the Capitol’s rotunda to be used for […]

Happy Lunar New Year!

The following is a guest post by Laney Zhang, our Chinese law specialist at the Law Library of Congress.  Laney has previously written posts for In Custodia Legis about pandas, trains and corruption, and Chinese supreme court clothing.  Earlier this week she wrote Crouching Tiger, Hidden Author. My favorite traditional Chinese holiday is coming next week! Yes, […]

Copyright and Dracula

Like many people, I have always enjoyed being scared—just a little—not with chainsaws and blood but a contest of wits between the archetypal vampire Dracula and his human opponents.  Dracula of course is not the first  fictional vampire.   John Polidori, physician to Lord Byron, and Sheridan LeFanu both wrote short stories about vampires in the […]

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Author

“Each of us has a crouching tiger deep in the heart.” This is what internationally-acclaimed Taiwanese director Ang Lee told a Chinese journalist, Chai Jing, in a recent interview about his latest film, Life of Pi.  The crouching tiger is Lee’s metaphor for the inner power driving him in his continuous efforts to try “thrilling” […]

The Case of the Missing Author

The following is a guest post is by Melanie Polutta, Librarian Cataloger in the Iberia/Rio Section of the African, Latin American, and Western European Division of the Library of Congress.  A while ago, I wrote an article in the LCCN that described how Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series, was not actually a person, but rather […]

A Healthy Dose of Super Bowl Ads?

I finally realized that U.S. sports channels just aren’t going to bend to my will and start showing more rugby.  The result of this is that I’ve been watching a lot of American football lately instead.  One thing I’ve always noticed when watching football is how many commercial breaks there are during the game.  During […]

Congressional Voting Records: A Beginner’s Guide

For the next installment of the Beginner’s Guide series, I turn to a subject that is of recurring interest to our patrons—how to find congressional voting records (also called roll call information). This topic presents more challenges than may be readily apparent, because researchers must not only determine what resources cover the period of time […]