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 […]
There 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 …
You can find out that answer to that question and many more in the August edition of the Library of Congress Wise Guide, which is now online.
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.
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 […]
There are still days in this job, even after two years, when I have to pinch myself. One such moment has come during the past few weeks with the opportunity to get to know Kay Ryan, appointed by the Librarian of Congress as the new Poet Laureate (official title: Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry). I […]
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 […]
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 […]
This week, we announced that the Librarian of Congress will award the fourth John W. Kluge Prize for the study of humanity on Dec. 10. But we also announced that nominations will be accepted for a few more weeks, until July 15. The $1 million Kluge Prize recognizes lifetime achievement in fields not traditionally represented […]
One of my favorite new RSS feeds or email subscriptions from the Library is put out by the folks who bring us “Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.” (RSS here, email sign-up here.) The feed gives a daily look at what was going on in the news 100 years ago — something I tried a couple […]