Food Fit for a President

As you might have heard, President-elect Obama will be using Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible when he is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Lincoln is, of course, a major inspiration to the President-elect and a strong influence on the themes of the upcoming inauguration. So we know you’re waiting with baited […]

Library Releases Report on Flickr Pilot

In January, the Library embarked on something that took the online community by storm. In conjunction with Flickr, we loaded a few thousand images from the Library of Congress’ vast collections and asked the user community to get involved: Give us your tags, your comments, your huddled masses …

We were essentially conducting an experiment to see how crowdsourcing might enhance the quality of the information we are able to provide about our collections, while also finding innovative ways to get those collections out to people who might have an avid interest in them.

As we’ve said again and again, we’ve been bowled over by the response. Now, the Library has released its report on the Flickr pilot. (The full report is here; a summary is here. Both links are PDFs.)

After the jump is an account of some of our findings, as adapted from a piece intended for the Library of Congress Gazette, our in-house newsletter.

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Cartography Buffs, Take Note

Our very own John Hessler was featured in today’s Washington Post talking about some of the mysteries behind one of the grand-daddies of all maps, the 1507 Martin Waldseemüller World Map, the document that named “America” and one of the Library’s toppest of the top treasures. (OK, we don’t categorize the treasures quite that way, […]

Maybe I Will Go As 'Crazy Newspaper Face'

Happy Halloween to all! There’s no better time to point you to the LOC’s “Wise Guide” for October, which explores how trick-or-treating got started: The origins of present day “trick-or-treat” date back to the Celtic tradition of offering gifts of fruits and nuts to appease wandering spirits. If not placated, the villagers feared that the […]

Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibit: Getting Ready for Prime Time

Exhibits, especially major ones, take a lot of planning, often years’ worth. There is fund-raising, exhibit design, curatorial work, object selection, conservation, writing the label texts, brochure design, fabrication, mounting, installation … and several other steps that I’m undoubtedly forgetting. On Feb. 12, we’re opening the major exhibition “With Malice Toward None,” celebrating the 200th […]

The Library in Verse

It isn’t unusual for docents like Malcolm O’Hagan to find that they have inspired visitors after a tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. (I have written about such inspiration before.) It is, after all, one of the great buildings at the heart of one of the great institutions of the world. But what wasn’t expected […]