LC in the News: June 2014 Edition

The Library of Congress welcomed Charles Wright as the institution’s 20th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2014-2015. Several major news outlets ran stories.

“Our next poet laureate may end up speaking on behalf of the more private duties of the poet — contemplation, wisdom, searching — rather than public ones,” said reporter Craig Morgan Teicher for NPR. “While he might not be planning to pound the national pavement during his laureate year, Wright has plenty to tell us if he lets his poems do the talking.”

“Mr. Wright, who along with his wife, Holly, a photographer, spends part of every summer at a remote cabin in northwest Montana without a telephone, said he would devote some time over the next few months to pondering his new public role,” wrote the New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler.

Washington Post reporter Ron Charles spoke with Librarian of Congress James H. Billington on his selecting Wright as Poet Laureate. “As I was reading through the finalists, I always kept returning to this man who wrote so beautifully and movingly about important things without self-importance but with extraordinary skill and beauty.”

In other literary news, the Library also announced in June that approximately 1,000 pages of love letters between 29th U.S. President Warren G. Harding and his mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips, will be opened July 29 with an event July 22.

Running stories were Politico and USA Today.

Continuing the make headlines are the Library’s audio-visual initiatives and preservation efforts.

The institution recently acquired a video archive of thousands of hours of interviews—The HistoryMakers—that captures African-American life, history and culture as well as the struggles and achievements of the black experience.

“Julieanna Richardson, the founder and executive director of The HistoryMakers, said the Library of Congress was the ideal home for the project,” wrote Tanzina Vega of the New York Times. “‘The slaves will now be joined with their progeny,”’ Ms. Richardson added, in reference to the library’s slave narratives archives, which include more than 2,300 first-person accounts that the Works Progress Administration collected in the 1930s.”

CBS Evening and Morning News also ran a story.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Preservation makes regular appearances in the news. CNN reported on its efforts to convert historical analog sound recordings and moving images into digital format in order to preserve them for the future.

“It’s an exhaustive job. Between 1.5 million film, television and video items, and another 3.5 million sound recordings, the 114 staff members here have their work cut out for them” wrote John Bena for CNN. “Collecting and cataloging over 120 years of recorded American history may seem to be a daunting task. But the preservation of these deteriorating items is currently one of the most pressing missions for the library.”

Speaking of early recordings, Boise Weekly reported on the Library’s efforts to make those available online. “The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has been ahead of the curve on this trend, placing many of its vast resources on the web, including a gorgeous collection of early video recordings, many of which are well over a century old.” The story included several video clips, including a Sioux Indian dance and Annie Oakley shooting targets.

And, thanks to IRENE, a digital-imaging device, the Library has made strides in preserving sound as well. The Atlantic delved into how the device works and the various  mediums the Library has been able to preserve.

Library in the News: May 2014 Edition

As May came to an end, so did the second and final term of Natasha Trethewey as U.S. Poet Laureate. She gave her final lecture at the Library of Congress on May 14. “At the Library of Congress on Wednesday night, Trethewey began, as she often does, with her personal history and then moved into […]

Stay Up With a Good Book, Too –

The author lineup for the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival is growing all the time, building excitement for the free event being held Saturday, August 30 from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Yes, that’s right, a 12-hour day in a new venue, with all the features […]

Library in the News: April 2014 Edition

The Library made several major announcements in April, including new additions to the National Recording Registry. The addition of the 25 new recordings to the National Recording Registry brings the list to a total of 400 sound recordings. Among the new selections were Jeff Buckley’s haunting single “Hallelujah” from his one and only studio album; […]

Adiós, Gabo

One of the most popular features in the Library of Congress Pavilion at the Library’s National Book Festival is a whiteboard on which you can write the name of a book.  Some years we ask for your favorite book.  Some years we ask what book shaped the world.  People stand a few feet back, ponder, […]

Letter to the Editor

(The following is a guest post by Barbara Bair, historian in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.) While life posed many setbacks for Teddy Roosevelt (1858-1919), he proved himself a man who met challenges and seized his opportunities. When it came to the Spanish American War in 1898, Roosevelt carefully devised public acclaim as a […]

E.L. Doctorow Awarded American Fiction Prize

E. L. Doctorow, author of such critically acclaimed novels as “Ragtime,” “World’s Fair,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The March” and his current novel, “Andrew’s Brain,” is the second recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. He will receive the award during this year’s National Book Festival, scheduled for Aug. 30 at the Walter E. Washington […]

Library in the News: March 2014 Edition

March news headlines included a variety of stories about the Library of Congress. Of particular interest was a 10,000-item milestone – with the addition of a set of priceless manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore to the online Library-cosponsored World Digital Library, which now holds more than 10,000 items following its 2009 launch. […]

Where Poetry Lives

The Library of Congress’s poetry blog, From the Catbird Seat,” has run a few posts on Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey’s second-term project, “Where Poetry Lives.” For her project, Trethewey has joined NewsHour Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Brown for a series of on-location reports in various cities across the United States to explore several large societal issues, through […]

Library in the News: February 2014 Edition

News in February brought word of several Library of Congress collection resources. Here are a few headlines. On January 30, the Library launched an online collection showcasing selected items from the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, along with elements from other important science-related collections at the Library. Gizmodo highlighted eight of the most fascinating items from […]