“12 Years a Slave” won the Oscar for best picture at this year’s Academy Awards. The film, based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, made history as the first movie from a black director (Steve McQueen) to win the film industry’s highest honor in 86 years of the awards ceremony.
In his memoir, Northup, a free black man born in New York, recounts to editor David Wilson his kidnapping in Washington, D.C. and subsequent sale into slavery. He was kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana before securing his release.
The Library of Congress owns two versions: an 1859 edition from the General Collections and an 1853 edition in Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The 1859 version is available from the Library through the Internet Archive. Here you can turn the pages of the book as if you had it personally on hand. The volume has also been digitized in color to give a much more realistic impression of the book than other grayscale versions that are online of other printings.
The Library of Congress is an incomparable resource for research into women’s history and studies, which is especially appropriate in March, Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment.” Spanning all time periods, classes, races and occupations, the Library’s women’s history resources are among the finest and most comprehensive […]
Distinguished architectural photographer Carol M. Highsmith began donating her work to the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress in 1992. She has photographed landmark buildings and architecture in Washington, D.C. — including the Library of Congress and many monuments — and throughout the United States. Starting in 2002, Highsmith provided scans or photographs she shot […]
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress, that is. Every year, the Library decks its hall with a tall tree, replete with lights and ornaments for the enjoyment of the institution’s patrons. Here, you can see workers are putting on the finishing touches. How […]
Washington Nationals newest mascot, William Howard Taft, stopped by the Library of Congress last Friday during a special event celebrating the acquisition of the historic recording collection of Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Bob Wolff. A selection of Library treasures was put on display for guests, including Taft’s papers, which the National’s mascot is seen […]
We’ve been on cherry blossom watch here at the Library, waiting for our 100-year-old cherry blossom trees to bloom. The grounds of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building are home to two of the original group of 3,020 Yoshino cherry trees given to Washington, D.C., in 1912, by the city of Tokyo as a […]
The Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium turned Grand Ole Opry for a night last Wednesday, as members of the Country Music Association (CMA) took to the stage to sing their hits. Bob DiPiero returned to host the latest installment of the CMA Songwriters Series, which this time featured Ronnie Milsap, Loretta Lynn “Lorrie” Morgan and […]
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, one of the leading scholars and practitioners of political economy in recent Latin American history, received the 2012 John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity in a special ceremony Tuesday at the Library of Congress. “I feel honored, and humbled, to receive this most prestigious prize. I […]
When I was a kid, my dad went to Hawaii for work and brought back grass skirts and shell necklaces for me and my sister. I can remember prancing about the house mimicking what I thought at the time was a hula dance, likely influenced by watching too much “Fantasy Island.” According to the International […]
On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual event “We Write the Songs,” a night of songwriters performing their own tunes and telling the stories behind their creations. And, some of the performers were a throwback to my fondest memories growing up in the 1980s. […]