Pic of the Week: A Tree for CRS

CRS Director Mary B. Mazanec, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington (from left), Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers and Rep. Jim Moran shovel dirt around a newly planted commemorative tree on Monday. Photo by David Rice.

CRS Director Mary B. Mazanec, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington (from left), Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers and Rep. Jim Moran shovel dirt around a newly planted commemorative tree on Monday. Photo by David Rice.

The Congressional Research Service celebrates its centennial this year. To mark the occasion, a commemorative tree was planted on the grounds of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The 10-foot Japanese maple serves as a living memorial to the men and women who have served in the  legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress.

A plaque at the base of the tree notes the species, date and occasion: “Sponsored by James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, in honor of Congressional Research Service’s Centennial.”

The service officially was born July 18, 1914, when then-Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, following a congressional directive, issued an administrative order establishing a legislative-reference unit at the Library. In 1970, the Legislative Reorganization Act gave the agency an expanded mission and a new name – the Congressional Research Service.

Astrobiology Chair Steven Dick Discusses Research, Tenure at the Library

(The following is a repost from the Insights: Scholarly Work at the John W. Kluge Center blog. Jason Steinhauer spoke with Steven Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, who concludes his tenure at the Kluge Center this month.) How the Discovery of Life Will Transform Our Thinking October 27, 2014 by Jason Steinhauer Astrobiology Chair […]

Pianist, NLS Making Beautiful Music Together

Jazz pianist Justin Kauflin is quick to laugh and down to earth, taking his national success in stride, especially for a 28-year-old musician. Kauflin has a CD of his original music coming out in January, is currently promoting a documentary film about his friendship with noted jazz trumpeter Clark Terry and has toured with the […]

Opera Onstage, Drama Offstage

Today marks the anniversary of the opening of the original Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, on Oct. 22, 1883.  This is the hall, no longer in existence, where Enrico Caruso performed “Vesti La Giubba” in “Pagliacci”; where Geraldine Farrar sang “Un Bel Di,” in “Madame Butterfly.”  Thanks to radio broadcasts, it was the […]

A-B-C … Easy as One, Two, Three

On Oct. 16, 1758, Noah Webster, the “Father of American Scholarship and Education” was born. Lexicographers everywhere celebrate his contributions on his birthday, also known as “Dictionary Day.” As a young, rural Connecticut teacher, he used his own money to publish his first speller in 1783. Reissued throughout the 19th century, the 1829 “Blue Back […]

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: Cultural Contributions

(The following is a guest post by Tracy North, reference specialist in the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.) As Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) comes to a close, now is an excellent time to reflect on the many ways in which Hispanic Americans have contributed to our nation’s cultural and political landscape. […]

See it Now: Columbus’s Book of Privileges

On January 5, 1502, prior to his fourth and final voyage to America, Christopher Columbus gathered several judges and notaries in his home in Seville to authorize the authentic copies of his archival collection of original documents through which Queen Isabella of Castille and her husband, King Ferdinand of Aragon, had granted titles, revenues, powers […]

Library Hosts Columbus Day Open House

(The following is a guest post by Library of Congress reference librarian Abby Yochelson.) This Monday, the Library of Congress holds its annual Columbus Day Open House in the Main Reading Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Every year, excited tourists and school groups from all over the United States and around the world, families […]

Documenting Dance: The Making of “Appalachian Spring”

(The following is an article written by Raymond White, senior music specialist in the Music Division, for the September-October 2014 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) When “Appalachian Spring” debuted at the Library of Congress on Oct. 30, 1944, the one-act ballet made dance history. Set in […]

Library in the News: September 2014 Edition

On Sept. 10, the Library opened the exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom.” Covering the opening were outlets including the National Newspapers Publishing Association, the Examiner and regional outlets from New York to Alabama. “A few things set this exhibition apart from the multitude of this year’s commemorations,” wrote […]