A New Look at America’s Insurgents and the King They Left Behind

Ffrom left: Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Librarian, Royal Library and Royal Archives; Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; and Dr. Joanna Newman, Vice President and Vice Principal (International) King's College London sign MOU

From left: Oliver Urquhart Irvine, Librarian, Royal Library and Royal Archives; Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden; and Dr. Joanna Newman, Vice President and Vice Principal (International) King’s College London sign MOU. Photo by David Rice

King George III of England: wasn’t he the one effectively told by the feisty New World colonists to “Nix the tax, Rex?” When they turned Boston Harbor into the world’s largest teapot, it was to get the attention of a government back home in England headed by George III, a monarch they would eventually disown.

But a new collaboration between the United Kingdom institutions holding George’s papers and the Library of Congress, which preserves the papers of many of the United States’ seminal figures, may shed new light on this admittedly thorny relationship.

The Library of Congress holds the papers of many Founding Fathers (and Founding Mothers – women were well-represented in the early history of this nation, and left a record we can learn from today). Meanwhile, the letters, official edicts and other historical records of King George III reside in the United Kingdom, under the jurisdiction of the Royal Library and Royal Archives.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Royal Library and King’s College London. The pact will provide personnel from the Library of Congress Digital Stewardship Residency program to aid in creating digital background information (“metadata”) for the papers of George III; it will also lay the groundwork for a special joint academic conference and a possible exhibition at the Library of Congress in 2020/2021, featuring materials of George III and such American figures as President George Washington.

The project is just one example of how the Library of Congress, under new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, is reaching out both nationally and internationally to forge new alliances. The goal of all this outreach is to make useful linkages and place assets online with all due speed.

Considering what we know about George Washington’s determination not to become, as leader of the new nation, a king by any other name, this promises to be a very interesting collaboration.

New Website on Martin Waldseemüller

The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and the Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy, today unveiled a multi-media interactive website that celebrates the life and times of 16th-century cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, who created the 1507 World Map, which is the first document to use the name “America,” represent the Pacific Ocean and […]

Library in the News: September 2016 Edition

In case you missed it, the Library of Congress has a new Librarian of Congress, who made headlines throughout the month of September. In addition to being named Fox News Sunday Power Play of the Week, Carla Hayden spoke with several outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC, NPR, CBS, The New […]

Pics of the Week: National Book Festival

The Library of Congress hosted the 16th annual National Book Festival last Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. Thousands of book-lovers came to get books signed, check out exhibits, play with their kids and get close to some of the world’s most popular authors. This year was a year of several firsts. […]

Library Announces Literacy Award Winners

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced the winners of the 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards tonight at the Library of Congress National Book Festival gala. The awards honor organizations working to promote literacy and reading in the United States and worldwide. The awards recognize groups doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work, and they spotlight the […]

First Word: The 14th Librarian of Congress

(The following is a feature in the September/October 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM.) Carla Hayden discusses her decision to become a librarian and her plans as the new Librarian of Congress. You are about to be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress. How does that feel? It’s such an honor […]

Carla Hayden Swearing-In To Be Broadcast on YouTube

Carla D. Hayden will be sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in a historic ceremony in the Thomas Jefferson Building Wednesday, Sept. 14 at noon. The ceremony will be broadcast live, beginning at 11 a.m., on the Library of Congress YouTube channel. The YouTube broadcast will be captioned. The ceremony marks two milestones: Hayden will […]

Letters About Literature: Dear Marie Lu

We continue our spotlight of letters from the Letters About Literature initiative, a national reading and writing program that asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives. Winners for 2016 were announced in June. Nearly 50,000 young readers […]