Breaking: A New “News” Archive!

A new digital collection, The General News on the Internet, is a free archive of online-only news sites collected from the web.  The Library of Congress began preserving these sites in June 2014. How are these news-based sites captured? The Library uses a hybrid approach of weekly captures of the websites, augmented with twice-daily capture of […]

Gladys Pyle: American Trailblazer & “Ultra Modern” Woman

This is a guest post by Valerie Haeder, a reference librarian in the Serial and Government Publications Division. South Dakota’s Gladys Pyle was the first woman elected to the South Dakota House and South Dakota’s first female U.S. Senator.  But she wouldn’t have cared about such distinctions as much as she did about getting things […]

Radium Girls: Living Dead Women

Catherine Wolfe Donohue is not a well-known name, but in the late 1930s newspapers featured her as she lay dying. She was among the women who painted luminous numbers on watch, clock, and instrument dials using radium-laced paint in factories in New Jersey, Illinois, and Connecticut. Dubbed “Radium Girls” and “Living Dead,” they suffered radium […]

Let’s Talk Comics: Superheroines

Whether you call them superheroines, female superheroes, or just superheroes, there are many female characters in comics whose powers, reputation, actions, and history make them more than ordinary. While Wonder Woman might be known best, a number of other superheroines made their first appearance in comics early on in the 1940s. Fantomah (February 1940), Lady […]

Happy International Women’s Day!

This Friday, March 8, 2019, is International Women’s Day and today we return to our historical newspaper archives for stories featuring change-making women in newspapers searchable in Chronicling America, the Library’s freely available database that provides access to historic United States newspapers published between 1789 and 1963. As the Library’s digital collection grows to 15 […]

Sissieretta Jones: World-Famous Black Soprano

Sissieretta Jones sang for kings, presidents, and to audiences around the world, becoming the highest paid African-American entertainer of the late 19th century. She headlined at Carnegie Hall and was hailed as one of the greatest sopranos of her time, yet she never performed on the operatic stage. She was born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner in […]

His Superfluous Excellency: Tales of the Vice Presidency

This is a guest post by Valerie Haeder, a reference librarian in the Serial and Government Publications Division. A handful of presidents are remembered for their greatness, but most are relegated to the footnotes of history. Even fewer vice presidents have achieved fame and favor, with one—Vice President John Nance Garner who served under Franklin […]

Harlem Hell Fighters: African-American Troops in World War I

One hundred years ago, on February 17, 1919, the African-American 369th Infantry Regiment, popularly known as the Harlem Hell Fighters, marched up Fifth Avenue into Harlem in a massive victory parade in their honor. “Hell Fighters” was the nickname the German enemy gave the 369th and the name stuck for good reason. They were among the […]

Let’s Talk Comics: Romance

It’s February, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and love is in the air! Typically you might not think of “romance” and “comics” together – but in the 1940s and 1950s as superhero popularity waned, romance reigned. And it was all started by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in Young Romance no. 1 (Sept-Oct. 1947). […]