Waste Not, Want Not

While the Civil War imposed hardships on both sides, the South found it particularly difficult to adapt to new realities of daily life. The blockade of Southern seaports and the prohibition of trade with the North quickly depleted food supplies throughout the Confederacy. Farmers became soldiers, and a large percentage of crops were used to […]

Stop the Presses!

With Election Day upon us and votes soon to be counted, the nation waits with bated breath to see who our next president will be. Here in D.C., crowds gather in local bars and pubs, as if it were Monday Night Football, to catch the news of which candidate won what state and taking bets […]

Protocol for One and All

    Etiquette.  We love to make fun of it – from the character Rose Maybud in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Ruddigore” who is constantly consulting her tiny etiquette book (“It’s manners out-of-joint, to point!”) to Vincent Price lecturing his creation “Edward Scissorhands” in the movie of the same name: “Etiquette tells us just what is […]

Inquiring Minds: An Interview with John Witte

(The following is a guest post by Jason Steinhauer, a program specialist in the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, as part of the blog series, “Inquiring Minds.”) Legal scholar John Witte served as the recent Cary and Ann Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History. Author of 220 articles, 15 journal symposia, and 26 books, […]

Growing a Library

(The following is an article from the September-October 2012 issue of the Library’s new magazine, LCM, discussing how the Library acquires its collections.) By Audrey Fischer Beginning with a purchase of 740 books by Congress in 1800, the Library of Congress collection has grown to nearly 152 million items. But purchase is just one acquisition […]

Terminology in Office

(This is the third in a series of posts featuring presidential campaign items from the Library’s collections. Read the others here and here.) Every election year, as candidates go head to head during their campaigns, a new wave of vocabulary is born. Political idioms that have found their way into our lexicon include POTUS, left-wing, […]

“Words Like Sapphires”

(The following is a guest article written by my colleague Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library’s staff newsletter, The Gazette, about today’s opening of a new exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the institution’s Hebraic collection.) A simple label inside thousands of rare books bears witness to the origins of one of the great collections […]

Dear Diary

LeRoy Gresham (1847-1865) was a teenaged invalid who kept a diary for nearly every day of the Civil War, recording the news, his Confederate sympathies and perceptive details about life on the homefront as he experienced the conflict through newspapers, letters and personal visitors. The son of an attorney, judge, and plantation owner in Macon, […]

Black and White and (Still) Read All Over

Old newspapers have acquired an iffy reputation over the years.  We bemoan the trees that had to die to bring them into existence for their one day of glory; we dub them “mullet-wrappers” or note, as they do in the British Isles, that “Yesterday’s news is tomorrow’s fish-and-chip paper.” But old newspapers can be addictive!  […]