It’s not unusual, today, for a song from Broadway or other popular music to be given new lyrics, usually for the purpose of a send-up or satire. So it’s noteworthy that our national anthem — yes, “The Star-Spangled Banner” — actually was an application of more serious lyrics to a tune associated with a drinking […]
This morning at the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., about 150 folks got a cultural and environmental treat, hearing several young poets and seeing the work of young artists who were winners and finalists in this year’s “River of Words” competition. 2009 marks the 14th year the program, co-founded by former U. S. […]
Sports, as any fan knows, can be heartbreaking — yet today, as we play ball in America, it’s always possible to walk away from a loss and say, “It’s only a game, after all.” But the Mesoamericans — Mayans, Aztecs, Olmecs and such — played, shall we say, as if they really meant it. Their […]
Broadway orchestration is the lasso that ensnares a catchy tune, a witty lyric, a burst of inspired dance–and spins them out from Times Square to your local theater, cabaret, satirical review or high school. Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, the Library of Congress’ Music Division will host a free, two-day public symposium on […]
For more than two years now, I’ve been the lone blogger on LOC.gov. As most bloggers know, the key to nurturing a growing group of engaged readers is mainly a function of volume: lots of compelling posts, posted with regularity. Unfortunately for the blog, I wear many hats in my current position, which far too […]
Jennifer Cutting of the Library’s American Folklife Center talks about the origins of May Day and its celebration. We have temporarily put that video on the front page of our relatively new YouTube channel.
“May Day!” is a well-known distress call. But “MayDay” is also a project to help prevent distress of another kind: Archives, libraries, museums and historic preservation organizations have set aside May 1 to participate in MayDay, an initiative to protect cultural heritage from disasters. For our part, the Library last year contributed a “mutual assistance” […]
Well, this is a day that has been a long time in coming. The Library of Congress has been working for several months now so that we could “do YouTube right.” When you’re the stewards of the world’s largest collection of audiovisual materials (some 6 million films, broadcasts and sound recordings), nothing less would be […]
We had a few delays, but we were finally able to post all 55 minutes of the historic Feb. 23 performance by Stevie Wonder at the Library. VIEW THE WEBCAST HERE As I previously wrote (prematurely heralding what turned out to be only highlights of the evening), Wonder premiered the piece “Sketches of a Life,” […]
As I’ve previously stated (or tweeted), I felt a little bit bad that Charles Darwin shared his 200th birthday with Abraham Lincoln.
It’s safe to say that one of the most widely recognized and influential scientists in history was somewhat overshadowed by the celebration of one of America’s greatest presidents.
My colleague Donna Urschel recently covered a lecture on a book about Darwin, shedding new light on the “origin of ‘On the Origin of Species.'”
Her story in its entirety follows the jump.