Pictures from Denver

Our “convention correspondent,” Carol M. Highsmith, burned the midnight oil to file her first dispatches from Denver (after 1 a.m. local time!) As promised, we bring you a sampling of the copyright-free images. And as previously mentioned, we will also post some highlights next week from the Twin Cities. President Bill Clinton Fires up the […]

Group Ranks Library’s Web Site No. 8

The Brookings Institution this week rated 61 federal Web sites based on 18 criteria such as publications, databases, audiovisual material, disability access, personalization, and privacy and security policies.  This blog’s mother ship, LOC.gov, ranked No. 8.  The full PDF report is here.  (Congrats to our friends at USA.gov!) We’re constantly working to enhance our Web […]

More on the Conventions

Further to the “Surface” technology I mentioned yesterday, you can see it in action for yourself in this ABC News story (about halfway in).  NOTE: Sometimes it will say that the previous link doesn’t exist, which is generally rectified by refreshing your browser. Also on the convention front, I’m pleased to announce that the Library […]

Political Conventions Throughout History

As Americans settle in to watch the two major party nominating conventions this week and next, have you ever wondered what political conventions were like before the days of the Web, television, or even the telegraph? The Humanities and Social Sciences division at the Library of Congress has provided timely summaries of the Democratic and […]

Lights, Camera, Action in Culpeper

mount-pony-theaterThere are almost as many different ways to watch movies today as there are movies themselves: on television (broadcast, cable, satellite, video on-demand, DVR), on disc (DVD or BluRay, at home or on the road), or in digital version on countless varieties of portable devices.

But can anything truly top the experience of watching a film in the most “retro” of ways — in a theater, on the big screen, with great projection, sound and the communal setting of other film buffs surrounding you?

The Library of Congress’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., will be recreating the movie magic of days gone by in its gorgeous, state-of-the-art, Art Deco-style theater. The new theater next week kicks off its free film series with selections from the National Film Registry.

The theater (not to mention the conservation center itself) is chock-full of wonderful things, such as the ability to screen just about any movie format imaginable — including nitrate stock, making the theater one of only a handful of such facilities in the nation. As you can see from the photo, an organ can rise from a pit to accompany silent films, just as it was done at the dawn of Hollywood.

Even if you don’t live in or especially near Culpeper, the experience might be worth the trip!

A little more depth and background from the Culpeper Star Exponent can be found here.

UPDATE: The theater now has its own page on LOC.gov, here.

The full line-up, and what to know if you’d like to partake, follow the jump …

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Library of Congress Junior Fellows Unearth Treasures

newspapers-serials

Today is one of my favorite days of the year, because it is one of the most compelling versions of “show and tell” anyone will ever get to see!

Every year for the past few years, thanks to the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the James Madison Council, the Library of Congress’s private-sector advisory group, as many as 50 interns have come to the Library through the Junior Fellows program.

They spend several weeks during the summer combing through both uncataloged copyright deposits and collections acquired through gifts, looking for “hidden” gems. And every year they do not fail to impress.

Past finds have included a 1900 blueprint for a proposed expansion of the White House; a 1906 photograph of baseball great Cy Young; a typescript of Cole Porter’s 1916 debut Broadway musical, “See America First”; a 1954 home movie of Marilyn Monroe; and an orchestral score by Jerry Goldsmith for the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes.”

This year, 200 items were showcased, including Copies of the Virginia and New Jersey Plans (1787) upon which the current bicameral U.S. political system is based; a map of the proposed U.S. Capitol grounds by F.C. De Krafft (1822); selected items from the Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Collection (1841–1935); the April 21, 1865, issue of the Weekly National Republican, which details Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and its aftermath; a rare first-edition piece of instrumental sheet music for the “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin (1899); a rare print of “The Rajah’s Casket” (1906) by Pathé Frères, one of the first companies to experiment with the use of hand-coloring in motion pictures; and items pertaining to the 1929 film “Applause,” directed by Rouben Mamoulian, along with personal snapshots of the director on holiday with Greta Garbo.

Check out some highlights after the jump.

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National Book Festival Podcasts Now on iTunes

Yep, now it’s even easier to hear your favorite authors (interspersed, of course, with my best attempts at probing questions). The 2008 National Book Festival author podcasts are now available via iTunes. (HUZZAH!) The direct subscription link is here (link opens in iTunes). The 2007 National Book Festival podcasts have also been posted, but for […]