There’s a Library of Congress Affiliate Near You (And They Have Great Programs to Offer!)

The Library of Congress, through its Center for the Book, has affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now, you can learn about your local Center for the Book’s public programs in one place: Our newly launched Calendar of Events tells you what your state or territory is doing as well as the activities of other Affiliate Centers. And, through the beauty of the internet, you can be a part of programs from just about any state, as the current pandemic has forced almost all programs to go online.

The House I Live In: Philip Roth’s America

For Jewish American Heritage Month, Manuscript Division curator Barbara Bair explores Philip Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America” (and its recent television adaptation). Set between 1940 and 1942, when Roth himself was a child, the novel examines the status of being Jewish and being American in a particularly perilous time period in American and world history.

Thoughts in the Time of Pandemic: Walt Whitman at Memorial Day

May is the month of Walt Whitman’s birth and also of Memorial Day, when the nation is asked to pause and delve mindfully into remembrance of past wars and service and sacrifices rendered. Library of Congress Manuscript Division curator Barbara Bair explores Whitman’s experiences and remembrances of war, isolation, suffering, and a turn to art in times of crisis—and how these themes connect to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Sholem Aleichem, The Yiddish Mark Twain

For Jewish American Heritage Month, a guest post by research specialist Susan Garfinkel explores the legacy of author Sholem Aleichem, sometimes called “the Yiddish Mark Twain,” whose stories of Tevye the dairyman inspired Fiddler on the Roof. Drawing on items from the Library’s collections, including newspapers, playscripts, poems, and recordings, she looks at Aleichem’s time in America, and delves into the question of whether the two famous humorists ever met.

Literary Treasures: Audre Lorde and Marge Piercy, 1982

Intern Brooke Biastock explores a recording of Audre Lorde and Marge Piercy reading their poetry in the Coolidge Auditorium in 1982. This recording was just added as part of our annual release, during National Poetry Month, of 50 newly streaming recordings to the online Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature.