Library in the News: May 2016 Edition

The month of May saw the Library of Congress in a variety of headlines.

In April, the Library announced that THOMAS.gov, the online legislative information system, will officially retire July 5, completing the multi-year transition to Congress.gov.

David Gewirtz for ZDNet Government wrote, “You have to wonder what Thomas Jefferson would have made of the Internet, Thomas.gov, and Congress.gov. Considering how much of an innovator, man of curiosity, and scholar old TJ was, I think he’d have been very proud.”

Still making news is the Library’s exhibition on jazz singers. NPR’s Stamberg spoke with exhibit curator Larry Appelbaum. They discussed jazz icons Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme and Billie Holiday.

Also in the news was the Library exhibition, “World War I: American Artists View the Great War.” The Guardian spoke with curators Katharine Blood and Sara Duke.

“This was the first time in American history that art was used in war. The result was amazing,” said Duke.

Speaking of wartime, the Library’s Veterans History Project (VHP) has been working with the National Museum of Americans in Wartime Voices of Freedom project in collecting veterans’ oral histories. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Hunley spoke with Bob Patrick, director of VHP.

“So many stories of the past are told from the top down,” Patrick said, “through historians or the words of leaders. But oral histories provide a chance to preserve the tales of those who maybe aren’t so famous.”

Library experts continue to be featured in The Washington Post’s series of “Presidential” podcasts. New presentations are on Ulysses Grant and Abraham Lincoln.

In other news, the Library was featured in Travel & Leisure, which highlighted the Library’s collection of national parks images.

“In many ways, the Library of Congress and the National Park Service are alike. Both are public utilities with noble missions. Both celebrate uniquely American values. Both are really, really big. The Library of Congress is also a National Historic Landmark, which is administered by the National Park Service,” wrote Travel & Leisure staff. “Of course, there’s another, more tangible way the two federal institutions are connected: the Library of Congress is the repository of a wealth of historical photographs that help tell the early story of the parks.”

 And, from a page right out of a crime novel, the Library helped solve a mystery of a stolen letter written by Christopher Columbus. Donated to the Library in 2004, the letter written by the Italian explorer in 1493 detailed his voyage to the New World. Originally held in Florence’s Riccardiana Library, the letter was thought to have been stolen and replaced with a fake in 1950-51. Several outlets ran a story, including the Los Angeles TimesFox News and Atlas Obscura.

Library in the News: April 2016 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues to make the news, especially with the April announcement of his returning for a second term. Herrera told Sara Catania of Reuters that poetry fans provided an “inspiration tsunami” during his first year in which he […]

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 […]

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 […]