An Architectural Marvel 40 Years in the Making

The Washington Monument is probably one of the most recognizable structures in all of D.C. At 555 feet, the Egyptian obelisk can be seen from miles away. A particularly picturesque vantage point is looking at the monument through the cherry blossom trees along the tidal basin. Built to honor President George Washington, the Washington National […]

A Sense of Purpose: Organizing the Rosa Parks Collection

(The following is a guest post written by Meg McAleer, senior archives specialist in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.) Archivists have wonderful jobs. Four colleagues – Kimberly Owens, Tammi Taylor, Tracey Barton and Sherralyn McCoy – and I shared nods of understanding, delight and awe often during the last two months of 2014 as […]

About That Cannon in My Basement —

A few years ago – around 2001, 2002 – I had a cannon in my basement in Rockville, Maryland. You could see it through the front windows, where it was aimed. I wondered if the mailman would report us to Homeland Security. It wasn’t a real one, but it was incredibly realistic and man-o’war-size (about […]

Library in the News: January 2015 Edition

More than 112,000 patrons visited the Library of Congress exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” ¬†during its brief 10-week viewing, which ended Jan. 19. “Much has been written about Magna Carta’s current visit to America, particularly in relation to the inchoate liberties it birthed. Rightly so,” wrote Kevin R. Kosar for The Weekly Standard. “The […]

Pinteresting African American History

February is African American History Month, an annual celebration that has existed since 1926. This year’s theme, according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)¬†is “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture.” This year also marks the centennial of ASALH, which was established in 1915 by Carter G. […]

Alan Lomax’s Legacy

(The following is a story written by Stephen Winick, folklorist and writer-editor in the American Folklife Center, for the January/February 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. The issue can be read in its entirety here.) A century after his birth, folklorist Alan Lomax is remembered for his preservation of the nation’s cultural […]

A Jefferson Book, Rediscovered in Law Library

(The following is a story written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) A tiny, handwritten “T” at the bottom of page 113 offered a clue that this book – long part of the Law Library collections – needed a new home: the permanent exhibition of Thomas Jefferson’s library. […]

Buying a Library

Two hundred years ago today, President James Madison approved an act of Congress appropriating $23,590 for the purchase of a large collection of books belonging to Thomas Jefferson in order to reestablish the Library of Congress. Under Madison’s leadership, the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812. After capturing Washington, D.C. in […]

The Library to the Rescue

(The following is a story in the January/February 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The Library of Congress has a long tradition of assisting other institutions in preserving their collections. Nearly a century after the Library of Congress collection was destroyed by a […]