The month of May saw the Library of Congress in a variety of headlines.
In April, the Library announced that THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov.
David Gewirtz for ZDNet Government wrote, “You have to wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have made of the Internet, Thomas.gov, and Congress.gov. Considering how much of an innovator, man of curiosity, and scholar old TJ was, I think he’d have been very proud.”
Also in the news was the Library exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War.” The Guardian spoke with curators Katharine Blood and Sara Duke.
“This was the first time in American history that art was used in war. The result was amazing,” said Duke.
Speaking of wartime, the Library’s Veterans History Project (VHP) has been working with the National Museum of Americans in Wartime Voices of Freedom project in collecting veterans’ oral histories. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Hunley spoke with Bob Patrick, director of VHP.
“So many stories of the past are told from the top down,” Patrick said, “through historians or the words of leaders. But oral histories provide a chance to preserve the tales of those who maybe aren’t so famous.”
In other news, the Library was featured in Travel & Leisure, which highlighted the Library’s collection of national parks images.
“In many ways, the Library of Congress and the National Park Service are alike. Both are public utilities with noble missions. Both celebrate uniquely American values. Both are really, really big. The Library of Congress is also a National Historic Landmark, which is administered by the National Park Service,” wrote Travel & Leisure staff. “Of course, there’s another, more tangible way the two federal institutions are connected: the Library of Congress is the repository of a wealth of historical photographs that help tell the early story of the parks.”
And, from a page right out of a crime novel, the Library helped solve a mystery of a stolen letter written by Christopher Columbus. Donated to the Library in 2004, the letter written by the Italian explorer in 1493 detailed his voyage to the New World. Originally held in Florence’s Riccardiana Library, the letter was thought to have been stolen and replaced with a fake in 1950-51. Several outlets ran a story, including the Los Angeles Times, Fox News and Atlas Obscura.