Library in the News: July 2015 Edition

The Library’s announcement of Willie Nelson as the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Music dominated the headlines in July, with more than 1,000 news stories running nationally and internationally. “His voice, seemingly worn by time and burdened by experience even in his earliest recordings, attracted new audiences to country,” reported David Morgan for […]

Hypothesis of a Culture

April Rodriguez, one of 36 Library of Congress Junior Fellow Summer Interns, wrote the following post while working in the Library’s American Folklife Center. Rodriguez recently received a master’s degree in library information studies from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She also has a background in sound engineering and film archiving, and she was […]

History You Could Really Sink Your Teeth Into

E.L. Doctorow, a giant of American letters who uplifted the genre of the historical novel, died yesterday at the age of 84. The author of “Ragtime,” “World’s Fair,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The March,” “Welcome to Hard Times” and “Andrew’s Brain,” among many other works of fiction, will be much missed. Doctorow was the recipient of the […]

Page From the Past: A Show About Nothing

When “The Seinfeld Chronicles” first aired on NBC on July 5, 1989, no one could have predicted that the “show about nothing” would become a cultural phenomenon. Inspired by real-life people and events, the show followed the life of a stand-up comedian and his friends. The pilot episode (pictured left), written by show creators Jerry […]

Trending: Superheroes on Screen

Superheroes continue to captivate audiences nearly a century after their film debut. America loves its superheroes (and villains). These beloved and delightfully despised characters continue to take center stage at the movies and on television. “The Mark of Zorro” (United Artists, 1920), a silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks, was among the 10 motion pictures featuring […]

Collecting Comedy

(The following is an article from the May/June 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Daniel Blazek, a recorded sound technician at the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Preservation, wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Laughter, with its links to the development of the human brain, no doubt […]

The Big Lebowski Abides

My condition is in fantastic condition today – I’m pleased that “The Big Lebowski” made this year’s list of 25 films selected for placement on the Library of Congress National Film Registry. These movies are judged to have special cultural, historic or aesthetic value and to be worthy of preservation for posterity. Other noteworthy films […]

Trending: A White Christmas

(The following is an article in the November/December 2014 issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. The issue can be read in its entirety here.) As the holidays approach, the dream of a white Christmas is on many minds. A white Christmas is the stuff that dreams are made of, at least according to […]