Last Chance to See “Creating the U.S.”

On May 5, the Library will close its popular exhibition “Creating the United States.” The exhibition has been on view for four years and seen approximately 2 million visitors passing through its space. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough once called it the one exhibition every American should see on a visit to Washington, D.C.

Notable items on display include Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” James Madison’s notes from the 1787 Constitutional Convention (June 18, 1787), Madison’s Copy of the Federalist’s Papers and Thomas Jefferson’s Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1805).

Although it was moved for preservation reasons, Thomas Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence, with edits by his fellow founding fathers John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, held a place of prominence during the exhibition’s inaugural months. There are interactive displays showing where some of its central tenets came from.

Of course, you can see all these materials and more online, including interactives that allow you to delve deeper into the creation of these cornerstone texts. But, trust me, there’s nothing quite like seeing them in person and sharing the same space, however briefly. So, if you’re in town, make sure to visit or revisit this landmark exhibition before it’s gone.

Shiny, Appy People: Library Gets iPhone App

Developers for the iPhone and iPad have been able to say “there’s an app for that” about a quarter-million times–the total number currently available in Apple’s App Store.  But not until now has there been an official app for the Library of Congress.  (So far it’s the first and only app–don’t be fooled by imitators!) […]

By the Time We Got to Bookstock …

Right now, here and there all over the world, people are sitting down with a good book and enjoying a good read. Sprawled on the lawn, curled up on the sofa, sitting on the steps in the piazza — they’re communing with a great author, or a funny author, or an author who’s telling them […]

The Joys of Jabbing Jefferson

When revolutionary-turned-president Thomas Jefferson still walked the streets of Washington, D.C., there were people who wanted to give him a good jab with their index finger and hand him a piece of their minds. These days, here on Capitol Hill, you can give Thomas Jefferson a jab … and dig a little deeper into his […]

Herblog

From time to time, we ask ourselves: Where is the outrage? Well, for an amazing 72 years, it was on editorial pages, especially that of the Washington Post–in political commentary by the influential cartoonist Herblock (Herb Block), who made presidents and other public figures, from Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush, ink-stained and wretched. The Library […]

Stat of the Day: Visitors Up 47 Percent

I thought I would pass along a statistic that has been floating about for the past couple of days: Our total number of visitors from January to April 2009 increased a whopping 69 percent over 2007!  (We’re comparing against 2007 because the same period in 2008 had too many variables, including an extended building closure […]