Library in the News: March 2016 Edition

Headlining Library of Congress news for March was the announcement of new selections to the National Recording Registry.

Michael O’Sullivan of The Washington Post spoke with singer Gloria Gaynor, whose “I Will Survive” was one of the selections.

“For Gaynor, the Library of Congress honor simply acknowledges what the world has already figured out,” he wrote. “‘The honor means that it will be purposefully preserved,’ she says,” “‘whereas the song itself has kind of been accidentally preserved, and passed down, without any real purpose, from generation to generation. It’s like a family heirloom, and now it’s like a family heirloom of the family of the United States.’”

“It’s a trip through the 20th century, with something for everyone, including plenty of romance, from a 1911 recording by the Columbia Quartet of ‘Let Me Call You Sweetheart’ to Julie London’s version of ‘Cry Me a River’ in 1955,” reported Jeffrey Brown for PBS NewsHour.

“There’s nothing more American than Bobby Darin’s swingin’ version of ‘Mack The Knife’—a song so embedded in U.S. culture that it was just inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry,” wrote Erin Blakemore for Smithsonian. “Or is there? It turns out that the toe-tapping, bizarre tune is a product of Germany…and its history is as convoluted as the tale of Old Mack himself.”

Kelly Carlin, daughter of comedian George Carlin, responded to the Library of Congress Facebook page with “On behalf of my father, George, I can unequivocally say that he would be thrilled, over the moon, with this honor. Thank you, Library of Congress for recognizing his essential place in the cultural history of this nation. (We’re all a bit verklempt over here at the Carlin house).” George Carlin’s “Class Clown” album earned his spot on the list.

Metal band Metallica also reported on the addition of their third album “Master of Puppets” being added to the list. []

Also covering the story were national outlets including NPR, CBS Evening News and Sunday Morning, Associated Press, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, Variety and Conan, among many others.

Speaking of recording registry, The Atlantic highlighted the inclusion of the fourth-quarter radio coverage of Wilt Chamberlin’s 100-point game (Philadelphia Warriors vs. New York Knicks) March 2, 1962, emphasizing the importance of radio preservation.

“Today, those 36 seconds were entered into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress,” wrote Adrienne Lafrance. “Most radio isn’t so lucky.

“In what the Library of Congress is billing the largest digital humanities and history initiative in the discipline of film and media, the Radio Preservation Project seeks to identify, catalogue, and preserve a gargantuan—and, for now, disparate—collection of noncommercial radio recordings in the United States.”

In other audio recording news, Library experts continue to be featured in The Washington Post’s series of “Presidential” podcasts.

While the selections included in the registry are considered culturally significant to American heritage, the Library also recognizes culturally significant contributions made by individuals. In March, the institution announced that Mario Vargas Llosa is the recipient of a Living Legend Award.

 Also making the announcement were Fox News Latino, Latin Times and Al Dia News.

Speaking of awards, the Library also announced that author Marilynne Robinson will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

According to Ron Charles of The Washington Post, “Robinson said she was ‘awfully happy to be on the list’ of winners because she feels such a strong kinship with the classic authors of the United States.”

Also running the news was the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Associated Press and The Examiner.

And, for a bit of holiday fun, CBS Sunday Morning spoke with the Library’s Stephen Winick of the American Folklife Center on the origins of the Easter Bunny.

Library in the News: February 2016 Edition

In February, the Library added a host of resources to its offerings, both onsite and online. Early February, the Library debuted a new exhibition on “Jazz Singers,” which offers perspectives on the art of vocal jazz, featuring singers and song stylists from the 1920s to the present. The ArtsBeat blog of the New York Times called […]

Library in the News: January 2016 Edition

January was a month filled with awards and honors. The Library welcomed Gene Luen Yang as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Michael Cavna of The Washington Post covered the inauguration ceremony and wrote, “Yang — a charismatic, high-energy speaker — was able to present himself dually as both authentically dimensional scholar and […]

Library in the News: December 2015 Edition

While the new year is upon us, the Library’s headlines in December are worth looking back on. Topping the news was the announcement of the new selections to the National Film Registry. Outlets noted recognizable films such as “Ghostbusters” and “Top Gun” along with some of the list’s more obscure titles. “If there are any […]

Library in the News: November 2015 Edition

Willie Nelson was the talk of the town as the Library celebrated his work and career during a concert in November, as he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “When Willie took the stage to accept the Gershwin prize, you could see the pride on his face,” wrote Brendan Kownacki for Hollywood on the […]

LC in the News: October 2015 Edition

In October, the Library of Congress celebrated a major milestone – Chronicling America, a free, online searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers, posted its 10 millionth page. To mark the milestone, the Library published a series of lists on its social media featuring interesting and off-beat content from the online archive. Several outlets picked up […]

Opening Day … For the Library

Until 1897, the Library of Congress was housed in the U.S. Capitol Building itself. Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1864–97) was the first to propose that the Library be moved to a dedicated building. He also was instrumental in establishing the copyright law of 1870, which placed the Copyright Office in the Library and […]

Library in the News: September 2015 Edition

In September, the Library of Congress had some big headlines – from the announcements of new collections to celebrating the 15th annual National Book Festival and the inaugural reading of the new poet laureate. The Library received a very special visitor and a very special book to add to its collections last month. During his […]

Philosophers Habermas and Taylor to Share $1.5 Million Kluge Prize

The following post, written by Jason Steinhauer, was originally published on the blog Insights: Scholarly Work at the John W. Kluge Center. Jürgen Habermas and Charles Taylor, two of the world’s most important philosophers, will share the prestigious $1.5 million John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity awarded by the Library of […]

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 […]