Happy Halloween to all!
There’s no better time to point you to the LOC’s “Wise Guide” for October, which explores how trick-or-treating got started:
The origins of present day “trick-or-treat” date back to the Celtic tradition of offering gifts of fruits and nuts to appease wandering spirits. If not placated, the villagers feared that the spirits would kill their flocks or destroy their property. Others trace “trick-or-treat” to a European custom called “souling.” Beggars would go from village to village begging for “soul cakes” made out of square pieces of bread with currants. The more soul cakes the beggars would receive, the more prayers they would promise to say on behalf of the dead relatives of the donors.
The Wise Guide includes links to other Halloween-related resources at the Library of Congress.
Exhibits, especially major ones, take a lot of planning, often years’ worth. There is fund-raising, exhibit design, curatorial work, object selection, conservation, writing the label texts, brochure design, fabrication, mounting, installation … and several other steps that I’m undoubtedly forgetting. On Feb. 12, we’re opening the major exhibition “With Malice Toward None,” celebrating the 200th […]
It isn’t unusual for docents like Malcolm O’Hagan to find that they have inspired visitors after a tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. (I have written about such inspiration before.) It is, after all, one of the great buildings at the heart of one of the great institutions of the world. But what wasn’t expected […]
If you haven’t yet seen the exhibition that David McCullough calls the one “every American ought to see,” you might want to make a trip to the Library within the next few days. The original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand, with edits by John Adams and Ben Franklin, will […]
All eyes in the United States over the next couple of weeks will be on the current presidential campaign. Here at the Library of Congress, we’re taking a bit of a look back — and a musical one, at that. A few days ago, we opened an exhibition called “Voices, Votes, Victory: Presidential Campaign Songs,” […]
I know it is late notice, but if you have some time on your hands this afternoon (and you’re in DC), you might want to stop by an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Lessing J. Rosenwald Room, across from room 239 in the Thomas Jefferson Building).
The Division will be featuring several new acquisitions, a few of which I’ll describe after the jump. Light refreshments will be served.
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Further to my Friday post, I wanted to point out that Kay Ryan’s webcast from last week has now been put online, here. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Well, I’ve been a very bad blogger. But we’ve been pretty busy around here.
Let’s see, what have we been up to? Well, we’ve begun taking a little bit of the Library on the road — first in Fort Lauderdale Sept. 19 and next in Denver on Oct. 27 (with Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles to follow).
You might have heard that we recently had a little get-together with about 120,000 of our closest friends. Our terrific team made more than 70 webcasts from the National Book Festival available in record time! You can watch your favorite authors here.
We’re getting close to some exciting Web 2.0 announcements, which we will be sure to bring you as soon as they’re ready. I also expect we’ll see a report relatively soon about our Flickr pilot project.
Our new Poet Laureate opened the literary season last night to an overflow crowd. (I’ve never seen so many people try to get into the Mumford Room!) Kay Ryan read and spoke for about an hour and then mingled afterward and signed books; the crowd was extremely entertained. One thing I was struck by was how very young the audience seemed (I was surrounded by teens), which I think is a good sign for future generations of poetry lovers.
I also had the tremendous pleasure earlier this week of attending a taped interview of Kay Ryan and the Librarian of Congress with Charlie Rose in New York, which we believe should air sometime next week. I won’t spoil it, but I don’t ever remember seeing Charlie laugh so much during an interview — it was a great discussion, and a lot of fun!
I completely neglected to blog about Hispanic Heritage Month (VERY bad blogger!), but I will point out, albeit a couple of days late, that the Library and some of our federal colleagues worked on a great Web site here.
And thanks to Audrey Fischer in my office, I can bring you a little report on Disability Employment Awareness Month, after the jump.
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