New Blog Series: New Online

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)

This is the first post in a new monthly series highlighting new collections, items and presentations on the Library’s website. After checking out the items mentioned here, be sure to visit some of our other blogs that highlight our collections in more depth, such as Picture This, Now See Hear and Worlds Revealed.

New Collections and Items:

The Library’s American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB) – a collaboration with the WGBH Educational Foundation – announced this week the acquisition of the New Hampshire Public Radio’s digital collection of interviews and speeches by presidential candidates from 1995-2007. The entire collection – nearly 100 hours of content – is now online, along with other presidential campaign content from the AAPB collection, in a new curated, free presentation, “Voices of Democracy: Public Media and Presidential Elections.”

The Library’s Manuscripts Division has been hard at work digitizing collections of historic American documents, with dozens of primary source collections online (you can see the full list here).

The Salmon P. Chase Papers consist of 12,500 items from the papers of this former Ohio governor, Lincoln cabinet official and Supreme Court justice. The papers focus chiefly on Chase’s legal career, activities as an abolitionist, involvement in Ohio and national politics, tenure as secretary of the treasury (1861-1864), influence on national finance and service as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1864-1873).

The William Tecumseh Sherman Papers include approximately 18,000 items of correspondence, a volume of recollections during and after the Mexican War, military documents, printed matter, memorabilia and manuscripts of Sherman’s “Memoirs.” The manuscript of the “Memoirs” and a long narrative of wartime experiences supplement the correspondence for the Civil War period. The correspondence in the collection is particularly strong for the years when Sherman served as commanding general of the army (1869-1883).

defaultSherman’s papers also include thousands of pages of letters and personal recollections, along with historical documents like this certificate (left) of thanks signed by President Abraham Lincoln, awarded to Sherman after his capture of Atlanta in 1864. Like many of our digitized items, users can freely download a high resolution image of this document.

The Library’s extensive digitization efforts include a stream of individual items, in addition to the types of full collections mentioned above. We frequently add new digitized items to loc.gov via “one off” scanning – for example, this 1876 map (below) – “Colton’s new topographical map of the states of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland & Delaware” default

You can use the deep zoom feature on the item’s resource view to see roads, rivers, railroads, and more. Check out more digitized maps.

Five new digitized items are added to the Poetry and Literature Center’s Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape and Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature each month, along with biographies of the poets and authors. Check out this recording of Robert Creeley reading his poems (with commentary), recorded in the Library’s Recording Laboratory in 1961.

Upgrades and Updates:

American Memory was, for many years, the Library’s flagship online presence, a ground-breaking collection of digitized primary sources and scholarly materials. It is gradually being migrated to new presentations that allow for a modern web experience, as well as updated searching and browsing. Recent migrations include the American Folklife Center’s Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal Collection, featuring 75 recordings from 1937-38 (by John, Ruby, and Alan Lomax) of songs documenting life on the canal. From the Law Library and the Rare Books Divisions comes The Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 Collection, featuring materials drawn from 105 manuscripts and books associated with the Dred Scott case and the abolitionist activities of John Brown, John Quincy Adams, and William Lloyd Garrison.

Also in a new presentation is An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, ca. 1490 to 1920, bringing you social dance guides dating back to 1490. Library experts have helpfully grouped the materials topically, in case you want to find for example, Anti-dance materials.

The Library holds hundreds of lectures, concerts, poetry readings, author talks and more each year, most of which are filmed and made available online via our video portal. We’ve recently been re-digitizing thousands of videos that have previously only been available in low resolution legacy formats, including updating more than 1,700 webcasts to new, high quality MP4 video.

In this video, Library Music Specialist Larry Applebaum conducts a fascinating interview with the late music legend Allen Toussaint on the New Orleans piano tradition, Professor Longhair, the challenges of songwriting and producing, and the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

The Veterans History Project has recently upgraded thousands of video interviews from legacy formats to a high quality presentation accessible on any device. Search and browse the collection at loc.gov/vets, or see highlighted presentations like Experiencing War.

February is African American History Month – we’ve recently updated our collaborative portal with links to featured content from collaborators at the Smithsonian, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service and the National Archives.

Next month we’ll be back with a new collection of digitized items from the Rosa Parks Papers, new archived Web Site content, improvements to our user interface, and more.

10 Stories: Mustaches in History! Chronicling America

In celebration of the release of the 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, our free, online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers, the reference librarians in our Serials & Government Publications Division have selected some interesting subjects and articles from the archives. We’ve been sharing them in a series of Throwback Thursday #TBT blog posts. […]

10 Stories: The End of the World! Chronicling America

In celebration of the release of the 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, our free, online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers, the reference librarians in our Serials & Government Publications Division have selected some interesting subjects and articles from the archives. We’ve been sharing them in a series of Throwback Thursday #TBT blog posts. […]

A Whole New Blog

Today we welcome the newest member of the Library’s blog family. World’s Revealed: Geography & Maps at the Library of Congress will highlight cartographic objects from the Library’s collections that “sometimes go beyond what usually ends up in exhibits and in textbooks and bring to the forefront uncataloged objects that have never before been placed online.” The […]

10 Stories: Monkeys! Chronicling America

In celebration of the release of the 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, our free, online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers, the reference librarians in our Serials & Government Publications Division have selected some interesting subjects and articles from the archives. We’ve been sharing them in a series of Throwback Thursday #TBT blog posts. […]

The Joy of Reading

The following is an article, written by Jennifer Gavin of the Library’s Office of Communications, for the September/October 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The Library of Congress promotes the pleasure and power of reading. Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “I cannot live without […]

Their Own Words, in Their Own Voices

To read a poem is a quiet joy. To read some authors’ prose is as wonderful as reading a poem. It’s just the poet, or the writer, and you. Right there, in black and white. What could be better? How about hearing it “in color” as a poet or author reads to you from his […]

Reintroducing Poetry 180 – A Poem a Day for High School Students

The following post, written by Peter Armenti, was originally published on the blog From the Catbird Seat: Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress. In 2001, the then U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins launched the online poetry project Poetry 180 as a way to introduce American high school students to contemporary poetry. Poetry 180 quickly […]