Library in the News: April 2015 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress.

The Library recently acquired a collection of rare Civil War stereographs from Robin Stanford, and 87-year-old Texas grandmother and avid collector.

“The images are rich and incredibly detailed,” wrote reporter Michael Scotto for New York 1.

Michael E. Ruane of The Washington Post spoke with Stanford.

“I’m so glad they’re here, because they will be available for everybody,” she told Ruane. “On the other hand, I’m going to miss them.”

The story of the Library’s acquisition was also featured on PBS Newshour and the Associated Press.

Other Civil War collections in the Library were also featured in a story from a Fox News affiliate in Roanoke, Va. Bob Grebe reported on Appomatox artifacts preserved at the institution, including original Matthew Brady photographs and Alfred and William Waud drawings.

In other collection news, the Library’s Dayton C. Miller flute collection made headlines thanks to a recent concert featuring the instruments.

And still making news was the Library’s acquisition of the Rosa Parks collection. Al Jazeera offered a glimpse into several of its items.

While many of these collection items are available digitally, the Library has other items on physical exhibit.

NPR highlighted the Library’s Music Division exhibition on theatrical design.

“Intrepid curators have created a small exhibition that lifts the curtain on how magic and spectacle are achieved on bare theater stages,” wrote reporter Susan Stamberg.

Offsite, the Washington Nationals baseball team is highlighting items from the Library’s vast baseball collections as part of an exhibit at Nationals Park. Urban Daddy featured it as part of a “What’s New” slideshow.

Dave Berry spoke of touring the Library itself and using its collections for research.

“At an overlook above the reading room, I was awestruck … Everyone was looking up and around. I was looking down … at three orderly rings of oak desks lit by lamps with green glass shades,” he wrote for the Tyler Morning Telegraph. “People on the floor seemed to be doing what people do in libraries … reading, studying, taking notes, exploring mounds of books and exploring the stacks. I wanted to be down there.”

In addition to exhibitions, tours and collections available to the public for research, the Library also hosts a variety of events. One such event is the annual poet laureate lecture to close out the spring literary season. This year, outgoing poet laureate Charles Wright invited former poet laureate Charles Simic to join him in conversation. The Washington Post covered the event.

“It made the star-power of Thursday evening’s presentation at the Library of Congress all the more impressive,” wrote Ron Charles. “There was the 20th U.S. poet laureate sitting on stage with the 15th U.S. poet laureate, their Pulitzer Prizes tucked discreetly behind them.”

The Library’s Capitol Hill campus isn’t the institution’s only branch. Several overseas offices are tasked with collecting and researching.

“The employees of the Library of Congress’s Overseas Offices don’t have just any job. They’re tasked with tracking down critical-yet-obscure materials from around the globe and bringing them stateside, all with the goal of making sure Congress–and anyone else who wants to use its library–has access to the world’s most current and comprehensive collection of information,” wrote Rachel Roubein for the National Journal.

“All of the LOC’s six overseas offices are in often unstable regions, but that’s by design,” reported Bridget Bowman for Roll Call. “The offices serve areas that may not have systems in place to archive and catalog books, publications, newspapers, maps, etc.”

And last, but certainly not least, the Library celebrated its 215th birthday on April 24. As Sadie Dingfelder of The Washington Post pointed out, it was also the birthday of Barbra Streisand, although the Library has a few on the singer and actress. Dingfelder went on to note some of the notable items in the instiution’s collection, such as the Gutenberg Bible, Abraham Lincoln’s scrapbook and the very first book printed in the U.S.

The Writer’s Almanac on NPR’s Morning Edition also mentioned the Library milestone.

The Power of a Poem

(The following is an article from the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Editor Audrey Fischer wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Billie Holiday’s iconic song about racial inequality was penned by a poet whose works are preserved at the Library of Congress. Recorded in […]

The Golden Fleecer

Who the devil was Soapy Smith? Some would say the devil was Soapy Smith. He was a swindler, a con artist, a bunco steerer. In the 1880s and ’90s he fleeced rubes from Denver to Skagway, Alaska and at many points in-between. He was dubbed “Soapy” because an early con involved selling overpriced soap by […]

National Poets

(The following is a story written by Peter Armenti, literature specialist for the Digital Reference Section, found in the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The nation’s most acclaimed poets have helped the Library of Congress promote poetry for nearly 80 years. The […]

The Library in History: Love in the Stacks

(The following is a story written by Audrey Fischer for the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) A romance that began at the Library of Congress in the 1930s led to the creation of a national poetry prize. Several years before former president […]

Curator’s Picks: American Women Poets

The following is an article from the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, in celebration of both Women’s History Month (March) and National Poetry Month (April). The issue can be downloaded in its entirety here. American history specialist Rosemary Fry Plakas highlights several women poets whose works are represented in the […]

Wipe That Scowl Off Your Face

Photography was well-established by the dawn of the 20th Century–it had graduated from the tintype and daguerreotype to innovations allowing for smaller cameras and more portable exposure media. But as the 1800s became the 1900s, portrait photography carried forward a tradition of depicting people sitting stiffly, staring sternly into the camera. A handsome young immigrant […]

The Warrior Poet (a.k.a. Fellow Traveler No. 1)

Many larger-than-life figures have served as the Librarian of Congress.  As the Library once again plays host to that seminal document affirming the rule of law, Magna Carta, today we shine a spotlight on the man who was Librarian of Congress when the great charter first visited the Library – Archibald MacLeish. MacLeish, before his […]

Library in the News: September 2014 Edition

On Sept. 10, the Library opened the exhibition “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom.” Covering the opening were outlets including the National Newspapers Publishing Association, the Examiner and regional outlets from New York to Alabama. “A few things set this exhibition apart from the multitude of this year’s commemorations,” wrote […]

But Did The Author Like the Movie?

Ever wonder, while watching a film made from a novel you’ve known and loved, what the author of the book thought about that movie? Whether they thought it was true to their vision? Whether they were annoyed at what landed on the cutting-room floor? Four great modern novelists will share a dialogue on just that […]