Library in the News: November 2016 Edition

Smokey Robinson made headlines as the Library celebrated his work and career during the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebration concert.

“Amid multiple standing ovations from an audience filled with political dignitaries at DAR Constitution Hall, the Motown star reflected on his humble Detroit roots as he accepted the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” wrote Brian McCollum for the Detroit Free Press.

Robinson had previously spoken with McCollum about the honor on the eve of the concert.

“If I’m being even mentioned in the same breath with the Gershwins — whose music is everlasting — then that’s a crowning achievement for me as a songwriter. I want to be Beethoven, man. I want to be Bach, Chopin,” he said. “Five hundred years from now, they’ll still be playing Smokey Robinson music: If possible, that’s what I want to be. So this is the first step.”

“Robinson’s songs — whether written for himself and the Miracles or other Motown artists — have soundtracked so many lives because of their emotional universality. They transcend time, space, performer and genre, and the event was programmed to illustrate that fact,” said Chris Kelly for The Washington Post.

In a special video presentation, the Post featured fans reminiscing on their favorite Smokey Robinson songs and how his music affected their lives.

“The audience sang and clapped along to “My Girl,” the night’s show closer, as a testament to Robinson’s enduring compositions,” reported Joshua Barajas for PBS NewsHour.

Other stories ran on CBS, WTOP, Billboard and Broadway World, among others.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden continued to make headlines in November.

“At different times in the library’s history, the people who have served as Librarian of Congress—scholars, librarians, lawyers—have each brought different skills,” she says. “As a librarian, I might have experiences to bring as the library faces a new part of its history, and a lot of that has to do with technology and accessibility,” Hayden told Greg Landgraf of American Libraries Magazine.

Hayden also spoke with Rebecca Sutton of NEA Arts Magazine. “I’m just discovering the depth of the collection. I think the arts community would be very pleased by the treasures here. I’m looking at photography books now: One’s a book on lighthouses; there are others on canals, dance, furniture, documentary. It’s like being in a treasure chest,” Hayden said. “It’s a beautiful place, but it has beautiful things too. Not just beautiful, but things that make you think.”

Eric Weibel, kid reporter for Scholastic, sat down with Hayden to talk about the Library and her thoughts on children’s literature and literacy.

The Librarian also spoke with Maryland Public Television. You can see the interview beginning at the 16:16 mark.

The Library’s Veterans History Project also received media coverage in November.

Michael Ruane of The Washington Post wrote a story about the project’s online presentation, “The Art of War.”

“The collection highlights the art of servicemen and women whose only canvas was the paper they might have in their pockets,” he wrote. “It captures the mundane and dreary aspects of war, as well as the dignity of its participants, and the drama of its battles.”

Several regional outlets shared stories of collecting efforts, including New Hampshire Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, The Sentinel Record and Tucson News Now.

Pic of the Week: A&E Makes Donation to VHP

Staff from A&E Networks’ HISTORY stopped by the Library this week to donate interviews from some of our nation’s oldest World War II veterans — specifically those who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. On the eve of the attack’s anniversary, these stories offer meaningful testimony to the American entry into World War II. These 25 […]

Veterans History Project Gets New “Book”

Adding another “book” to its social media shelf, the Library of Congress welcomes the Veterans History Project to Facebook. There, VHP will be sharing the stories of our veterans along with other news and initiatives. Visitors are also encouraged to share their own stories and help VHP collect more. VHP’s Facebook joins several other Facebook accounts from the […]

World War I: Irving Greenwald’s WWI Diary

(The following is a guest post by VHP Reference Specialist Megan Harris, reprinted from the Folklife Today blog.) One look at Irving Greenwald’s diary is all it takes to bring to mind the old adage “good things come in small packages.” This World War I diary, written by Pfc. Irving Greenwald, was donated to the Veterans […]

Pic of the Week: Familiar Faces on Display in Atlanta

The following is a guest post by Lisa A. Taylor, Liaison Specialist for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP). One of the many joys of working at the Veterans History Project is discovering all of the out-of-the-box ways researchers find to use the collections. VHP’s congressional mandate is to collect, preserve and make […]

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 […]

Rare Survivor of Pacific War

(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Before he boarded the ship carrying prisoners of war across the ocean to a forced-labor camp, George Washington Pearcy divided his diary and gave the pieces to two comrades staying behind. If he didn’t survive the journey, […]

New Online: Civil War and Persian Gulf Stories, National Recording Registry

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) The Manuscript Division has added two collections to its growing list of Civil War materials now available online. The papers of army officer Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888) span the years 1853-1896, although the majority of the material dates from […]

New Blog Series: New Online

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) This is the first post in a new monthly series highlighting new collections, items and presentations on the Library’s website. After checking out the items mentioned here, be sure to visit some of our other blogs that highlight our […]

Reddit AMA on VHP Jan. 4

The following is a guest post by Monica Mohindra, head of program coordination and communication for the Library’s Veterans History Project. Bob Patrick, director of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP), along with VHP staff, will answer your questions in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session beginning at 9 a.m. (ET) on […]