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.”

Highlighting the Holidays: A Special Telegram

On Dec. 22, 1864, William T. Sherman sent President Abraham Lincoln a telegram that included a pretty monumental “gift,” according to the Civil War general. “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah with 150 heavy guns & plenty of ammunition & also about 25.000 bales of cotton. W. T. […]

InRetrospect: November Blogging Edition

The Library of Congress blogosphere was a cornucopia of posts on special holidays and  more. Here is just a taste. In the Muse: Performing Arts Blog #Britten100: Benjamin Britten & Peter Pears at the Library November 22  marked the hundredth birthday of British composer Benjamin Britten. Inside Adams: Science, Technology & Business Civil War Thanksgiving […]

Inquiring Minds: Commemorating the Gettysburg Address with Author Jonathan Hennessey

A 10-year veteran of the film and television production industry, Jonathan Hennessey is a Los Angeles-based writer. Hennessey is the author of “The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation,” on which he collaborated with illustrator Aaron McConnell. In their newest work, “The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation,” the duo commemorate the 150th anniversary of this […]

Recite the Gettysburg Address

On Nov. 19, 1862 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the cemetery at the Civil War battlefield. One of the most famous speeches in American history, the speech is recognized as a literary masterpiece. In three short paragraphs—some 270 words—Lincoln proclaimed the principles upon which the nation was founded, honored […]

A Congressional Legacy: The Peter Force Library

Purchased through an act of Congress in 1867, the Peter Force Library became the foundation of the Library’s Americana collections.  As the nation sought to reconstruct the Union after the Civil War, so, too, did the Library of Congress seek to build a collection that documented fully America’s history. At the time, the nearly 100,000 volumes […]

Carrying a Torch — Ours!

With the Library of Congress National Book Festival just days away (it’s a week from this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22, free of charge on the National Mall) we have a lot to share in addition to more than 100 best-selling authors for readers of all ages.  One of the great stops […]

Witnesses to History, Keepers of the Flame

This is a guest post by Cheryl Fox of the Library’s Manuscript Division The First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas (July 21, 1861) set many precedents in American history—key troops were transported by train, battle reconnaissance was attempted via observation balloon, battle scenes were sketched and the battle’s aftermath, photographed to be published in newspapers.  And […]

Inquiring Minds: An Interview with Author Jason Emerson

Jason Emerson is a journalist and an independent historian who has been researching and writing about the Lincoln family for nearly 20 years. He is a former National Park Service park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Ill. His previous books include “The Madness of Mary Lincoln,” “Lincoln the Inventor” and […]