Pic of the Week: StoryCorps Makes a Stop

NPR host Diane Rehm and her son David conduct an interview in the StoryCorps MobileBooth. Photo by Shawn Miller.

NPR host Diane Rehm and her son David conduct an interview in the StoryCorps MobileBooth. Photo by Shawn Miller.

In May 2005, two StoryCorps MobileBooths left the Library of Congress to travel across the United States—one taking an Eastern route and the other covering the Western states. This inaugural tour stopped at 34 cities, and visits lasted two and three weeks, with about 100 interviews collected at each location.

The MobileBooth returned to the Library earlier this month, 11 years after it began its journey, for a five-week stay, where it will record oral histories of residents from the Washington, D.C. area. An Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio, the booth is at the Library through May 18. Reservations for interviews are required and can be made by calling 1-800-850-4406 or online at storycorps.org.

The brainchild of MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, StoryCorps was launched in 2003 as a national initiative to instruct and inspire individuals to record oral histories and create meaningful personal experiences for the participants. The Library’s American Folklife Center (AFC) serves as the permanent home for those recordings.

Welcome to the Newest Blog, 4 Corners of the World

Today we welcome the newest member of the Library’s blogosphere: 4 Corners of the World. Dedicated to showcasing the international collections and studies at the Library of Congress, the blog will highlight important research resources and rare treasures from the Library’s four area studies divisions — African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European and Hispanic. The term “four corners” is used in many […]

Paying the Doctor in 18th-Century Philadelphia

(The following blog post is by Julie Miller, early American historian in the Manuscript Division.)  How did 18th-century Americans pay for their medical care? A leather-bound volume of patient payments kept by Philadelphia physician William Shippen Jr. between 1775 and 1793 helps answer this question. The volume is in the Shippen Family Papers in the Manuscript […]

Curator’s Picks: All That Jazz

(The following is an article from the March/April 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Music Division Curator Larry Appelbaum highlights items from the Library’s exhibition “Jazz Singers.” BILLIE HOLIDAY No matter how many times I’ve seen this iconic portrait of Ms. Holiday by […]

Gathered Around the Seder Table: Images from the Passover Haggadah

(The following is a guest post by Sharon Horowitz, reference librarian in the Hebraic Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division.) Exodus 23:15 tells us that Passover should be celebrated in the spring. The rabbis understood this to mean it was their job to maintain the holiday in the spring, which required some manipulation […]

Here’s to a Couple of Ruff Characters

Four hundred years ago this weekend, two of the greatest geniuses in wordcraft this world has ever seen both died: William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes. Shakespeare’s plays still dazzle, written though they are in Elizabethan English and iambic pentameter; their story lines are still fresh enough to inspire endless straight-play performance worldwide, Broadway musicals […]

Pic of the Week: Happy 216th Library of Congress!

The Library of Congress celebrates its 216th birthday on Sunday. Founded on April 24, 1800, thanks to an appropriation approved by Pres. John Adams of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.” What started with a whopping 740 books and three maps has evolved to more […]

The Changing Field of Folklife

(The following is an article by Stephen Winick from the March/April 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Changes in technology have facilitated global access to the Library’s folklife collections. This year, the Library’s American Folklife Center turns 40. During that time, the world […]

Jacob Riis Exhibition Opens Today

(The following story, written by Mark Hartsell, is featured in the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Half the world, journalist Jacob Riis once said, doesn’t know how the other half lives, and it doesn’t know because it doesn’t care. Riis, a social reformer, author and newspaper reporter, used his work to make society […]

Technology at the Library: StoryCorps Goes Global

(The following is an article by Nicole Saylor of the American Folklife Center for the March/April 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The StoryCorps oral history collection is growing through a new mobile app and website. In a matter of months last fall, […]