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.

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