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Library in the News: November and December Edition

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With the whirlwind of the holiday season come to a close, let’s take a look back at some of the headlines the Library made in November and December.

One of our big announcements was the opening of the Library exhibition “The Civil War in America” on Nov. 12.

The Washington Post chose to highlight a select item – a little-known diary written by a wartime teenager –  for its coverage of the exhibition. “A century and a half later, LeRoy Wiley Gresham’s smudges still mark the page, in a kind of communion with students of his remarkable record of the Civil War, the collapse of the Old South, and the last years of his privileged but afflicted life,” wrote Michael Ruane.

Where Guestbook did a great pictorial feature highlighting Civil War ambrotypes and a look at the Lincoln White House.  And both CNN and The Examiner did website pictorials including such display items as a copy of President Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, a copy of Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, a set of children’s tinker toys and a lock of Ulysses S. Grant’s hair.

Martha M. Boltz of the Washington Times wrote about her tour of the exhibition, which had previously been thwarted because of Hurricane Sandy. “The exhibition on the Civil War, with its 200 unique items, is extraordinary and exhaustive … It was wonderful to tour with such a knowledgeable staff of archivists and curators. When one of them would start talking about a given display or artifact and paused for a moment, another would step in and add to it. The depth of knowledge of these dedicated professionals would be hard to find anywhere else.”

The Associated Press looked at the letters and diaries in the exhibition that “offer a new glimpse at the arguments that split the nation 150 years ago and some of the festering debates that survive today.”

Other outlets picking up the AP story included The Denver Post, The Huffington Post, ABC News, USA Today, Fox News, Yahoo! and several local papers in Mississippi, South Carolina, Missouri, Utah, Montana, Nebraska, Washington and Georgia.

In late November, the Library announced it would make available on its website a group of audio recordings featuring interviews from music icons. The audio recordings are part of the Joe Smith Collection of more than 225 recordings of noted artists and executives in the industry. NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams aired a brief segment. And outlets like the Los Angeles Times and also ran headlines.

“The interviews are fascinating and worth a break from literary pursuits,” said Dave Rosenthal of the Baltimore Sun.

Speaking of the music industry, the Library announced in December that Carole King would be the recipient of the 2013 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

Featuring the announcement were the New York Times, Washington Post, Rolling Stone,, UPI, Reuters and the Associated Press. The AP story also ran in outlets including Billboard, the Washington Times, the Miami Herald, the Huffington Post, and Broadcast affiliates far and wide for ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS also ran brief news segments.

In other entertainment news, the Library, also in December, added 25 new selections to its National Film Registry.

“‘Dirty Harry’ Callahan, Neo, Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun and the baseball-playing women of ‘A League of Their Own’ are taking a permanent field trip to the Library of Congress,” wrote Brian Truitt for USA Today, whose story includes brief segments of several of the films.

“One of the greatest productions on the long list of masterpieces produced by NFL Films has been selected for recognition in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for its place in American culture,” said Josh Alper for the Pro Football Talk blog on NBC Sports. “They couldn’t have picked a better film than the one the Library of Congress calls the ‘Citizen Kane’ of sports movies to represent football’s enduring importance.”

Many other national and local outlets, including broadcast media, ran stories following the Library’s announcement.

On a final note, Library benefactor David Rubenstein gave the institution $1.5 million to fund three new literacy awards. Brett Zongker of the Associated Press reported the story, which was picked up by a variety of news media throughout the country.

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