Going Inside the Library on Instagram

(The following is a post by Gayle Osterberg, director of communications for the Library of Congress.)

The visual richness of the Library of Congress never ceases to amaze me – from the extraordinary architecture of its Thomas Jefferson Building, to the diverse public programs, to the collections themselves.

Many Americans will never have the opportunity to visit the Library in person, so we are always looking for ways to share the Library with them – from digitized online collections to web videos of Library programs.

What better way to give people a snapshot of the institution than through a social media community devoted to images – Instagram! It is a great way to provide a glimpse of contemporary life at the world’s largest library, from exhibitions to concerts, with the occasional historic image thrown in for good measure. Find us on Instagram at @librarycongress.

This Monday, the Library opens its Main Reading Room for our traditional Columbus Day Open House — a chance for individuals who aren’t researchers to come into the historic room, take pictures and learn a little more about how they can use the library themselves on a regular basis.

It is a great time to follow the Library on Instagram. If you haven’t been to our Main Reading Room, it is a feast for the eyes – and the camera. Our own photographer, the very talented Shawn Miller, will be capturing and posting images.

It is also a great time to visit the Library and post your own photos using the hashtag #LibraryOpenHouse. We’ll pick three of our favorites from the day to feature on this blog next Wednesday.

Instagram is just the most recent way to connect with the Library on social media. We have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and iTunesU – all in an effort to throw open the doors even wider.

Rare Book of the Month: Agrippa Von Nettesheim and Things That Go Bump in the Night

(The following is a guest blog post written by Elizabeth Gettins, Library of Congress digital library specialist.)  Agrippa Von Nettesheim. Now that is a name with heft! This mouthful of a name is attached to a very interesting thinker who might be a good candidate for “father of Halloween.” He would fit right in with […]

And the Word Was Made Beautiful

Pope Francis has moved among us, here in Washington, D.C., for a time—and one lasting result of his visit can be viewed, starting Saturday, at the Library of Congress: a breathtakingly beautiful Apostles Edition of The Saint John’s Bible, the first Bible entirely hand-made and illuminated in more than 500 years. The rare Bible was […]

The Joy of Reading

The following is an article, written by Jennifer Gavin of the Library’s Office of Communications, for the September/October 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The Library of Congress promotes the pleasure and power of reading. Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “I cannot live without […]

Page from the Past: A Sailor’s Map Journal

(The following story, written by Center for the Book intern Maria Comé, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the LCM, which you can read in it’s entirety here.) Sept. 2, 1945, marked the end of World War II, following the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seventy years later, researchers can access the […]

Their Own Words, in Their Own Voices

To read a poem is a quiet joy. To read some authors’ prose is as wonderful as reading a poem. It’s just the poet, or the writer, and you. Right there, in black and white. What could be better? How about hearing it “in color” as a poet or author reads to you from his […]

National Book Festival Redux

(The following article, written by Mark Hartsell, was featured in the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) “I cannot live without books,” Thomas Jefferson famously once said. The 15th National Book Festival last week provided evidence that plenty of others can’t, either. Thousands of book lovers descended on the Washington Convention Center on Saturday […]

Reintroducing Poetry 180 – A Poem a Day for High School Students

The following post, written by Peter Armenti, was originally published on the blog From the Catbird Seat: Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress. In 2001, the then U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins launched the online poetry project Poetry 180 as a way to introduce American high school students to contemporary poetry. Poetry 180 quickly […]