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.

Read more »

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 […]

Surf's Up … At the Library?!

You heard right. The very much landlocked Library of Congress has been celebrating summer with its “Summer Surf” film series in the Mary Pickford Theater (third floor of the James Madison Building). And it is proving to be quite the hot (pardon the pun), albeit FREE, ticket. This past Tuesday’s showing of “Endless Summer” was […]

Get Your Book Festival Podcasts Here!

The eighth annual National Book Festival (Sept. 27, 2008) has an outstanding lineup of authors, and I’ve been having the privilege of interviewing several of them for podcasts. The subscription link is here. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I have to disclose that I have been doing my own audio engineering (with practically […]

Flickr Photos, Then and Now

A wonderfully innovative fan of the Library’s pilot project with Flickr photos decided to restage a World War II-era photo for the modern day, at the same exact location as the original. (The first thing you’ll notice, as the author points out, is that there are many more trees today.) It immediately reminded me of […]