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Library of Congress Junior Fellows Unearth Treasures

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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.

A clip from a video at the beginning of the display. This Google Earth tour showed the home cities of all of the Junior Fellows, along with some personal information about each. The full tour can be found via Google Earth, here (link opens in Google Earth).


Junior Fellows display discoveries from the Serials and Government Publications Division.


This first edition of “G-Men” (1935–1953), published in October 1935, featured an article praising FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.


copyright-findsJunior Fellow Kandice Newren of Logan, Utah, explains a display of materials from the Copyright Office.


maple-leaf-ragOne of those items was the aforementioned original copyright submission for “Maple Leaf Rag.”


dewey-cartoonAnother item is this 1899 political cartoon depicting the return of Admiral George Dewey after defeating the Spanish Navy at the Battle of Manila Bay.


israelJunior Fellow Seth Silbiger of Silver Spring, Md., shows items relating to Israel.


42nd-streetAn original Broadway cast recording of “42nd Street” (1980) from the David Hummel Musical Theatre Collection.


radio-interviewJessica Anderson, a Junior Fellow in the Music Division, “meets the press.”


capitol-groundsThe aforementioned 1822 proposed map of the U.S. Capitol grounds. The map covers the area bounded by C Street North, First Street East, C Street South, and Seventh Street West, including the eastern part of the National Mall.


lincoln-newspaperThe aforementioned April 21, 1865, issue of the “Weekly National Republican,” which details Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and its aftermath.


gershwin-songJunior Fellows found the original copyright renewal application for “Kinderscenen,” reputedly the first song written by George Gershwin in 1913 at age 15. The ragtime was adapted from Robert Schumann’s “Träumerei,” or “Reverie.”

And finally, a brief video clip.

During the silent era, earlier films by popular artists were edited together to create new releases. “The Rounders” (1914), starring Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977) and Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle (1887-1933), and another unidentified Chaplin film were re-cut, given new title cards, and combined to create “Greenwich Village.” (“Greenwich Village,” ca. 1922. 35mm black-and-white safety print from original film. AFI/Roach Collection, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress)

Comments (10)

  1. Hooray Junior Fellows! It was a great program when I participated in 1993 and it is exciting to see what all the new Fellows are doing.

    At one point I recall getting updates from the program, but after all these years of moving I seem to have lost touch (if they are still evening staying in touch with alums).

    I did a quick search and didn’t turn anything up on Facebook, so I created a group for Fellows to connect.

  2. Great Read, I love Show and Tell

  3. This is awesome. Not only do these kids get to build experience working with a government agency, they also get to help America realize its history. I’m surprised this program doesn’t receive more attention from the media.

  4. You should put those kids to work creating an online database so that we can rumage through the LOC too 😀

  5. Wow I would of loved to see all those items.I wish we had a way to bring that around the country on tour.Americans need to be reminded that this countries history and remnants of the past are priceless.
    Excellent write up Thanks

  6. Is there a newsletter or mailing list to get notified of these events?

  7. You can subscribe to email alerts and/or RSS feeds on all manners of subjects at the Library (including public events) at this site:

  8. Wow that is a really interesting program. I think it is not only a wonderful opportunity but in some respects inspiring. having experiences like this early on must surely be inspirational for future work.

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