Library in the News: March 2014 Edition

March news headlines included a variety of stories about the Library of Congress. Of particular interest was a 10,000-item milestone – with the addition of a set of priceless manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore to the online Library-cosponsored World Digital Library, which now holds more than 10,000 items following its 2009 launch.

The Baltimore Sun and the Associated Press ran stories.

As a leader in audio-visual conservation, the Library continued to be spotlighted on its efforts in sound and film preservation.

“Ever since the first identifiable recording in 1860, sound has added captivating and significant context to history,” reported Emily Siner for National Public Radio. “The Library of Congress is one of thousands of institutions, large and small, trying to make sure that future historians — and even future archaeologists — have access to those recordings.”

The March/April issue of American Libraries Magazine highlighted institutions at the forefront of collecting and preserving films, including the Library, UCLA and The Louis B. Mayer Library at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles.

“The declining state of America’s film heritage is a widely discussed topic among film industry professionals, film librarians, and archivists,” wrote Phil Morehart. “LC sits at the forefront of film preservation and collection.”

Also continuing the make news is the Library’s Carl Sagan collection. Writing a story for Cornell Alumni Magazine was Bill Sternberg, who who took Sagan’s Astronomy 102 class at the university in 1975.

“During his nearly three decades at Cornell, Carl Sagan became the best-known scientist on the planet. Unlike previous celebrity researchers, Sagan didn’t achieve fame from a singular breakthrough such as Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine or Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity,” wrote Sternberg. “Sagan’s papers, open to the public at the Library of Congress since November, range over topics as majestic as outer space and as mundane as office space. (If you took Astronomy 102/104 in 1977, your grades are in Box 254.)”

From time to time, news outlets report on discoveries made within the Library’s Prints and Photographs collections – particularly when previously unidentified images receive biographical data that was unknown before. Recently, a Civil War tintype in the Library’s collection showing a group of Union soldiers was identified.

“Last month, a New York high school teacher spotted the photo on a Civil War Facebook page and recognized the image,” wrote Michael E. Ruane for The Washington Post. “Now the library, which has a digital version on its website, has names and stories to go with the faces.”

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