‘Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas …

… And despite all good cheer,

It sized up as “boringest night of the year.”

Still 36 hours until Christmas dawning,

And reruns of reruns were leaving ‘em yawning.

The tree decorating had happened last week

The lineup of movies appeared rather bleak.

The cookies were eaten; the sprinkles were scattered

No Christmas ‘till Christmas! That’s clearly what mattered.


Yet out on the web was a trove worth a look:

A digitized shelf-full of rare, classic books.

By Dickens!

By Moore! and

By Frances H. Burnett!

And free off the web –

You won’t have to return it!


So, hold off those sugar-fueled siblings’ catfights

By letting them read “The Arabian Nights.”


And with one shopping day left, right next to that Wii™,

You can guarantee holiday books  ‘neath that tree.


Merry Christmas to all … and to all, a good read!

Roll Over, Beethoven!

There’s something very satisfying in music about the number three: three notes in a basic chord, a romantic waltz in 3/4 time, the three-movement form of early symphonies. So it’s appropriate that the Library’s third blog (behind this one and “Inside Adams” from the Science, Technology and Business Division) would come from the Music Division. […]

The Violins Come Out to (be) Play(ed)

December 18 is a special day in the yearly calendar of the Library of Congress – it’s the day when several of the rare stringed instruments in the Library’s collection are taken from their display cases and handed to the members of a talented string quartet.  The collection was assembled with the intention that it […]

Photochroms Give Us Holland’s Nice, Bright Colors

The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division has added 116 photocrom travel views of the Netherlands from 100 years ago to our Flickr page, bringing the total number of photochroms on Flickr to 773. Photochroms, published primarily from the 1890s to 1910s, are prints that were created by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the […]

The Soundtrack of Our (Cartoon) Lives

A cartoon can be engaging and funny and tell a story without any audible sound at all; even newspaper cartoons of the 20th century featured characters such as Ferd’nand and The Little King, (external links) who went through their paces, frame-by-frame, with little or no dialogue to move the story along. But sometimes, more is more, as […]

Sesame? Sweet!

This guest post comes from Audrey Fischer of the Library’s Communications Office: Generations of former kids who learned their ABCs on PBS will be celebrating today’s 40th anniversary of the show “Sesame Street.”  (external link) The Library’s been a fan right along! In April 2000, for example, when the Library of Congress celebrated its bicentennial, […]

‘Inside Adams’ Brought Inside the Blog Fold

This feels a little like a birth announcement: The Library of Congress has launched its second official blog since the one you’re now reading took the blogosphere by storm in April 2007.  (Hyperbole much?) The Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division is an excellent addition to our growing social-media family.  The very name of the […]

Carl Reiner Webcast Now Online

Legendary comedian Carl Reiner spoke to a standing-room-only audience at the Library the other day, and I had the very good fortune of attending. I guess I should not have been surprised that this 87-year-old man was every bit as funny and incisive as he always has been.  He spun terrific yarns, was always quick […]