Many of us remember exactly where we were when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. We remember the subsequent media coverage, whether on TV, radio, or in newspapers, and many of us saved those newspapers.
Library of Congress employees, though evacuated from their Capitol Hill buildings, began collecting newspapers for the Library that afternoon. This became a necessary approach because the Library’s overall operations, including newspaper deliveries, were not only affected in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, but for months following due to the deadly anthrax attacks that began on September 18th.
One year later, the Library opened a two-month long exhibit, Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress, displaying a wide range of relevant materials collected during that first year, including drawings, photos, eye-witness accounts and personal reactions, books, magazines, poems, songs, audio and video recordings, films, maps, and newspapers. A special issue of the Library of Congress Information Bulletin focused on the exhibit and the 9/11 collections, and included this article by Gene Berry on our 9/11 Historic Events Newspaper Collection.
The Library continues to collect and preserve materials related to 9/11. This includes newspapers with immediate coverage, subsequent related coverage, and anniversary editions. The 9/11 newspaper collection now contains thousands of issues so, unsurprisingly, they are not yet completely processed and fully accessible. The newspapers are broadly organized and stored in archival boxes with more processing work forthcoming.
In 2015, The Washington Post donated a large collection of original newspapers and other materials, mainly dating from the 1960s to the 21st century. A selection of aluminum press plates for use on printing press rollers is a fascinating part of the donation. These historic printing press plates include the front page of the Post’s September 11th Special Late Edition.
Even with thousands of U.S. and foreign newspapers in our 9/11 collection, we still have a list of newspapers we want to add: September 11, 2001: Tuesday Extra/Special and P.M. Editions Wanted by the Library of Congress. We realize that you, like us, may have collected one of these newspapers so please contact us via Serial and Government Publications Division Ask a Librarian, if you would like to donate any of these historic newspapers to the Library of Congress.