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.

Sheridan’s Papers include a draft of his published memoirs. Manuscript Division.

Sheridan’s Papers include a draft of his published memoirs. Manuscript Division.

The papers of army officer Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888) span the years 1853-1896, although the majority of the material dates from 1862 to 1887. Relating chiefly to the Civil War, Reconstruction, Mexican border disputes, Indian wars and military administration, the collection of approximately 18,000 items includes correspondence, reports, orders, memorabilia, scrapbooks, commissions, financial records and speeches. Dominated by correspondence and reports, the papers document Sheridan’s service as a Union army commander in the Civil War and his postwar commands up to and including that of commanding general of the United States Army (1883-1888). A draft of Sheridan’s published memoirs is included in the collection. Two letters from Abraham Lincoln to Sheridan, written on September 20 and October 22, 1864, can be found in the General Correspondence series, and letters received from Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant are located in the Autograph Letters section of the Sheridan Papers.

The Nathan W. Daniels Diary and Scrapbook also documents the experience of an officer in the Union army during the Civil War, but in this case a colonel of the 2nd Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guard, an African-American infantry regiment chiefly stationed at Ship Island, Mississippi. The collection, spanning the years 1861-1867, consists of three volumes of a handwritten diary with rare photographs, illustrations and newspaper clippings mounted throughout the text. Also included are a typescript of summaries and transcripts of the bulk of the diaries, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.

A page from Nathan Daniel’s Diary. Manuscript Division.

A page from Nathan Daniel’s Diary. Manuscript Division.

Volume three was written jointly by Daniels and his wife, the noted spiritualist medium Cora Hatch. Nathan Daniels notes throughout the three volumes of the diary his own interactions with spiritualists and attendance at spiritualist events. After his marriage to Cora Hatch in December 1865, some diary entries not only include content about Daniels’s activities within the spiritualist community but occasionally also document the content of interviews with spirit guides speaking through Cora Daniels.

Also new this month is the annual update to the National Recording Registry. You can read the full description of all 25 new inductees, which span the years 1911-1986. Among the selections are the rock group Santana’s 1970 album “Abraxas,” two blues numbers from the 1920s (Clarence Williams’ 1923 “Wild Cat Blues” and Blind Willie McTell’s 1928 “Statesboro Blues”), Julie London’s 1955 recording of “Cry Me A River,” George Marshall’s 1947 speech outlining the Marshall Plan to restore Europe following World War II, saxophonist John Coltrane’s 1964 oeuvre “A Love Supreme,” Merle Haggard’s 1968 song “Mama Tried,” Clifton Chenier’s 1976 Zydeco album “Bogalusa Boogie,” Buffy Sainte-Marie’s 1964 album “It’s My Way,” George Carlin’s groundbreaking 1972 comedy album “Class Clown” and Metallica’s 1986 takeoff from its thrash-metal roots, “Master of Puppets.” Listen to an audio montage of the selections:

The Veterans History Project has a new presentation in its series of featured interviews: Experiencing War: The Persian Gulf War, 25 Years Later. In these audio and video interviews (some also including photos and written materials), veterans describe in their own words their experiences serving in the conflict, relating how they coped with challenges such as Scud missile alarms, potential chemical weapon attacks and the harsh desert environment. The voices of female veterans are of particular note: the Persian Gulf War saw the largest deployment of women to a combat theater in American history.

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 […]

Library in the News: November 2015 Edition

Willie Nelson was the talk of the town as the Library celebrated his work and career during a concert in November, as he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “When Willie took the stage to accept the Gershwin prize, you could see the pride on his face,” wrote Brendan Kownacki for Hollywood on the […]

Serving Up Food Collections

(The following story, written by Library culinary specialist Alison Kelly, is featured in the November/December 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The Nation’s Library offers a veritable feat of food-related collections. Whether you’re researching what was served at the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving or […]

Inquiring Minds: VHP Marks 15 Years Preserving Veterans’ Stories

(The following is a story written by Mark Hartsell for the Gazette, the Library of Congress staff newsletter.) A missing Air Crew Report, author Dennis Okerstrom says, provides plenty of facts about losses in air combat: type of aircraft, names and ranks of crew members, a flight plan. Those facts can’t, however, reveal war’s human […]

Page from the Past: A Sailor’s Map Journal

(The following story, written by Center for the Book intern Maria Comé, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the LCM, which you can read in it’s entirety here.) Sept. 2, 1945, marked the end of World War II, following the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seventy years later, researchers can access the […]

Inspired By a Soldier’s Story

The following was written by Matthew Camarda, one of 26 college students participating in the Knowledge Navigators program at the Library of Congress. The 10-week internship program is offered to students at the University of Virginia, Catholic University of America and the College of William & Mary. Camarda is currently a senior at the College […]

Pics of the Week: Step Right Up, Folks!

Today we bring you a trio of images from this week’s display of items found in the Library’s collections by our Library of Congress Junior Fellows–36 interns from around the nation who dig through our collections during their 10-week stays and showcase their findings at summer’s end. Chosen each year through a competitive program, the […]

Inquiring Minds: Anna Coleman Ladd and WWI Veterans

(The following is a story written by Megan Harris of the Veterans History Project and featured in the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.  )  Last month, eighth-graders Benjamin King, Maria Ellsworth and Cristina Escajadillo – all students at the Singapore American School – performed an original 10-minute play at the Library of Congress inspired […]