Library in the News: July 2014 Edition

The Library of Congress had two major announcements in July, featuring well-known public figures, that garnered several headlines.

Billy Joel was named the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Stories ran in Rolling Stone, the Dallas Morning NewsThe Washington PostThe New York Times and The Today Show.

Joel was also featured as ABC World News Tonight “Person of the Week.”

In addition, on July 29, the Library opened to the public a collection of letters between President Warren G. Harding and his mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips.

“Every so often, we get a poignant reminder of what has been lost now that letter-writing has been replaced by texting, emoticons or nothing at all, if you’re a politician afraid to commit anything to paper for fear it will show up on page one or be read aloud by a committee chairman on a tear,” wrote Margaret Carlson for Bloomberg. “This makes the trove of love letters written by Warren Harding, to be unsealed at the Library of Congress and published online this month, all the more appealing.”

“The roughly 900 pages illuminate an extraordinary and intimate chapter in the life of a seemingly drab president who was dogged by political scandal, died in office and had campaigned on a platform of ‘a return to normalcy,’” wrote Washington Post reporter Michael E. Ruane.

ABC News covered a panel discussion a week before the public opening that featured historians and Harding’s grandnephew discussing the letters.

Also running stories were Slate, the New York Times Magazine and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Several news outlets turned their headlines to the Library itself, taking a look at its buildings and services.

“I can’t leave Capitol Hill without fulfilling a dream to get a library card at the Library of Congress,” wrote Robert Reid for National Geographic. “After a look at the Jefferson Building’s exhibits (an early U.S. map shows Connecticut as a long rectangle extending toward the Mississippi), I make a tunnel walk or two between neighboring wings and find myself with a new Library of Congress Reader Card.”

PBS Newshour ran a piece on the Library’s efforts to restore Thomas Jefferson’s library.

“Sixteen years ago, Mark Dimunation and his team set out to restore Jefferson’s collection, replacing the lost books with copies from the same publisher, date, and edition,” reported Jeffrey Brown. “Green ribbons denote books from the original library. Gold are copies that serve as replacements. The white or ghost boxes are placeholders for the 250 books still being sought.”

And, finally, local ABC affiliate WJLA captured a remarkable photograph of what appeared to be a lightning bolt striking the Library’s Jefferson Building dome. There were no reports of damage or injury from the alleged strike.

Junior Fellows Show Off Summer Finds

(The following is an article written by Rosemary Girard, intern in the Library of Congress Office of Communications, for the Library staff newsletter, The Gazette.) After weeks of researching, curating and unearthing some of the Library of Congress’s millions of artifacts, members of the Junior Fellows Program had a chance to present their most interesting […]

Rare Map on Display at Library Scored Some “Firsts”

(The following is a guest post by Wendi A. Maloney, writer-editor in the U.S. Copyright Office.) Engraver Abel Buell “came out of nowhere,” at least in terms of cartography, when he printed a United States map in 1784. “He’d never done a map before,” says Edward Redmond of the Library’s Geography and Map Division. Nonetheless, […]

Library in the News: May 2014 Edition

As May came to an end, so did the second and final term of Natasha Trethewey as U.S. Poet Laureate. She gave her final lecture at the Library of Congress on May 14. “At the Library of Congress on Wednesday night, Trethewey began, as she often does, with her personal history and then moved into […]

The Library in History: Library Analyst Helped Launch NASA

(The following is a story written by Cory V. Langley, a communications specialist in the Congressional Research Service, that is featured in the May – June 2014 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, now available for download here. You can also view the archives of the Library’s former publication from 1993 to 2011. Amid fear and anxiety […]

CRS at 100: Informing the Legislative Debate Since 1914

(The following is an article compiled by Cory V. Langley, a communications specialist in the Congressional Research Service, that is featured in the May – June 2014 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, now available for download here. You can also view the archives of the Library’s former publication from 1993 to 2011. The centennial […]

Inquiring Minds: The Intrepid Explorer

(From time to time, we’ll feature the story of one of our many researchers here at the Library and the discoveries they made using our collections. The following is the story of Meg Kennedy Shaw, who conducted research on her father, a British desert explorer, botanist and archaeologist.) Meg Kennedy Shaw has made many trips to […]

Library in the News: April 2014 Edition

The Library made several major announcements in April, including new additions to the National Recording Registry. The addition of the 25 new recordings to the National Recording Registry brings the list to a total of 400 sound recordings. Among the new selections were Jeff Buckley’s haunting single “Hallelujah” from his one and only studio album; […]

The Library in History: The John Adams Building at 75

Seventy-five years ago, the Library opened a second building on Capitol Hill to house its growing collections. With a collection of more than 3.5 million items, former Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam reported to Congress in 1926 that the nearly completed bookstack “will not be likely to take care of the accessions beyond the coming […]