Pic of the Week: Firesign Theatre Comedians Share Their Story

Phil Proctor and David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Phil Proctor and David Ossman, two of the four members of the comedy troupe Firesign Theatre, took to the stage in the Coolidge Auditorium on September 28 to perform and discuss the history and impact of their work. They are shown here presenting a new sketch, “The History of the Art of Radio, Revised.”

With fellow troupe members Phil Austin and Peter Bergman, the pair got their start on Los Angeles radio station KPFK in 1966 doing live half-hour comic plays. In 1968, they began producing comedy records, and they went on to make syndicated radio series, musicals, films and other works.

Their 1970 album, “Don’t Crush That Dwarf,” was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in 2005.  ”Dwarf” is a one-act play that satirizes radio and television programs to comment on political, social and literary topics of the day. It was recorded using sophisticated production techniques that enabled the use of surreal sound effects and layered storytelling.

Hispanic Heritage Month: New and Improved Resources to Celebrate!

This is a guest post by Catalina Gomez, a reference librarian in the Hispanic Division. The Library of Congress is observing National Hispanic Heritage Month this year with an array of on-site concerts, exhibits, lectures and more. But we also have exciting digital offerings for those of you who can’t visit us in person. We’ve […]

Rare Book of the Month: ABCs Through the Centuries

This is a guest post by digital library specialist Elizabeth Gettins. September is traditionally known as the month that all children return to school after summer vacation. To mark this tradition, the Rare Book and Special Collection Division’s book(s) of the month are two hornbooks: a wood hornbook and an ivory hornbook. Today’s children would likely […]

World War I: Immigrants Make a Difference on the Front Lines and at Home

This is a guest post by Ryan Reft, a historian in the Manuscript Division. By 1910, nearly a third of the United States’ 92 million residents were either born abroad or the progeny of parents who immigrated to America. The idea of “hyphenated Americans”—citizens who identified as Polish-American or Italian-American, for example—discomforted many native-born citizens. […]

Trending: Let’s Celebrate Comics!

Did you know that today is National Comic Book Day? To celebrate, we are sharing a contribution by Michael Cavna of the Washington Post to the September–October issue of LCM, the Library of Congress magazine. The entire issue, available here, showcases the Library’s collection of some 140,000 comic books. Cavna, an Eisner Award-nominated columnist and […]

Pic of the Week: Library and Military Service Academies Collaborate on Collections Access

The Library of Congress and the U.S. military service academies signed a cooperative agreement this week to provide researchers with enhanced access to the institutions’ collections and grow representation of service members in the Library’s collections—including the Veterans History Project. The three-year agreement, which took effect on September 18, provides greater access for Library researchers […]

Free to Use and Reuse: Adolph Metzner Civil War Drawings

This is a guest post by Julie Stoner, a reference librarian in the Geography and Map Division. It was first published on “Picture This,” the Prints and Photographs Division’s blog. We’re highlighting the subject of Stoner’s post—Civil War drawings by Adolph Metzner—in our “free to use and reuse” feature on the Library’s home page. The […]

Trending: Congressional Black Caucus Takes Center Stage

This week, thousands of people from around the country will gather in the vast Washington, D.C., Convention Center to take part in a decades’ old tradition: the annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation. From September 20 to 24, participants will hear from approximately 100 hundred speakers, including many members of Congress, […]

Inquiring Minds: Hunting for Treasure in the Manuscript Division

Ross Davies has been a regular in the Library’s Manuscript Division for about two decades now. He has worked with papers of Supreme Court justices, consulted collections on the federal courts and introduced his students to the Library—a “treasure hunt” he assigns requires them to find resources in the Manuscript Division and the Law Library. […]