The Library of Congress has the largest collection of Hispanic materials in the world, including rare items of Mexican origin. Next Thursday and Friday, the institution is hosting a special “Celebration of Mexico” to take a look at some of these items and to also honor Hispanic and Mexican heritage. As part of the celebration, several of the institution’s curators have highlighted a few of the Library’s most treasured artifacts in a series of brief webcasts.
Bartolomé de Las Casas is known throughout history for his stand on the rights of native Americans. The Library holds several of his writings in his collections, including this book to inform the Spanish Crown that officials and landowners in the New World were behaving cruelly toward their indigenous subjects and to plead for redress. His book had an enormous impact, prompting Emperor Charles V to recognize the humanity of indigenous peoples and to issue the New Laws of the Indies in 1542, ending the absolute power of individual Spaniards.
Library of Congress Hispanic Division specialist Barbara Tenenbaum shares insights into the history of the early Americas and Dominican priest and social reformer Bartolomé de las Casas.
“A Celebration of Mexico,” a two-day conference and accompanying display at the Library of Congress, will open on December 12, the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a popular national holiday in Mexico. For more information and more videos, visit the website.
Earlier this month, a few news outlets ran a story about a rare document signed by George Washington up for auction at Christie’s. According to a Christie’s spokesperson, the item in question had the potential to fetch $8 to $12 million, potentially setting a record for the most expensive American manuscript ever sold at auction. […]
The Library of Congress has one of the most extensive preservation programs for library materials in the world. Each year the Library’s preservation staff provides preservation treatment for countless objects in its collection of more than 155 million items. The Conservation Division cares for the Library’s special collections, including rare books and manuscripts, works of […]
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 […]
(The following is a guest post by Kaydee McCann, humanities editor for the “Handbook of Latin American Studies” and reference librarian in the Hispanic Division.) Historian Natalia Silva Prada is a visiting researcher in the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress. Supported by a fellowship from Goya Foods, she spent two months preparing an annotated bibliography […]
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 […]
Today, you best get out your peg leg, eye patch and practice your “arrrr’s” … it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day! What started as a joke among a handful of friends in 1995 has become a widely recognized fun-for-the-sake-of-fun celebration, thanks in large part to a column written by Dave Barry in 2002. A […]
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Today we celebrate […]
(The following is a story written by Lindsey Hobbs of the Library’s Preservation Directorate for the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Pulp-fiction authors created some of the most enduring characters of any literary genre including Tarzan, detective Sam Spade, and the sword-wielding Zorro. The magazines that illustrated their exploits, unfortunately, haven’t fared as […]
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” – Thomas Edison In August 1795, John Fitch not only demonstrated the first successful steamboat but was also granted a United States patent for his invention. A century later, on Aug. 12, 1877, Thomas Alva Edison is believed to have completed the model for […]