“12 Years a Slave” won the Oscar for best picture at this year’s Academy Awards. The film, based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northrup, made history as the first movie from a black director (Steve McQueen) to win the film industry’s highest honor in 86 years of the awards ceremony.
In his memoir, Northrup, a free black man born in New York, recounts to editor David Wilson his kidnapping in Washington, D.C. and subsequent sale into slavery. He was kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before securing his release.
The Library of Congress owns two versions: an 1859 edition from the General Collections and an 1853 edition in Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The 1859 version is available from the Library through the Internet Archive. Here you can turn the pages of the book as if you had it personally on hand. The volume has also been digitized in color to give a much more realistic impression of the book than other grayscale versions that are online of other printings.
(The following is a guest post by Matthew Barton, curator of recorded sound in the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.) Last year, the Library of Congress acquired the first of more than 10,000 radio interviews conducted by Ron Barr, founder and host of radio’s Sports Byline USA. The interviews date from 1988 […]
(The following is a guest post by the Library’s Director of Communications, Gayle Osterberg.) I have been reading with enthusiasm recent interviews with the screenwriter/director Wes Anderson about his forthcoming film “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” not only because I am a fan of Mr. Anderson’s work, but because he has been talking about the Library […]
Between winter and the winter olympics, the Library of Congress blogosphere offered up a variety of posts during February. Here is a sampling: In The Muse: Performing Arts Blog ASCAP on the Occasion of its 100th Birthday with Jimmy Webb and Paul Williams The Library celebrates ASCAP. From the Catbird Seat: Poetry & Literature at […]
News in February brought word of several Library of Congress collection resources. Here are a few headlines. On January 30, the Library launched an online collection showcasing selected items from the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, along with elements from other important science-related collections at the Library. Gizmodo highlighted eight of the most fascinating items from […]
The World Digital Library – a website of world cultural treasures offered free of charge in seven languages to anyone on the planet with access to the Internet – has put up its 10,000th offering. It was part of a package, actually – a group of rare manuscripts from the collections of the Walters Art […]
The Library of Congress is an incomparable resource for research into women’s history and studies, which is especially appropriate in March, Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.” Spanning all time periods, classes, races and occupations, the Library’s women’s history resources are among the finest and most comprehensive […]
(The following is a guest post by Jason Steinhauer, program specialist in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center.) Manuella Meyer is the David B. Larson Fellow in Health & Spirituality at the Library’s John W. Kluge Center and assistant professor of history at the University of Richmond. Her research examines the socio-political and medical terrain […]
(The following is a guest post by Holly Krueger, head of the Paper Conservation Section of the Library of Congress Preservation Directorate.) Last December, the Library of Congress unveiled a remarkable drawing by the “outsider artist,” Martin Ramirez. The drawing depicts a Madonna figure standing on a blue globe surrounded by canyons filled with anthropomorphic […]
(The following is a guest post by Julie Miller, specialist in early American history in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.) Think of all the things your household buys and uses. Now think of George Washington. He was the commander of the Continental Army, first president of the United States and the father of our […]