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Library In The News: January Edition

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The Library of Congress exhibition “The Civil War in America” and Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey continued to make the news last month.

Edward Rothstein toured the exhibition for The New York Times. “This is one reason the Library of Congress exhibition ‘The Civil War in America,’ which opened late last year in honor of the war’s sesquicentennial, is so fascinating. It doesn’t explicitly ask questions about means and ends, but we can’t help thinking about them as the letters, diaries, documents and images accumulate.”

In addition, the Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan reviewed the show, calling it a “sober chronology of letters, photographs, books, artwork, maps and other ephemera” and “surprisingly moving.”

In January, the Library put on temporary display the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation in the Civil War exhibit. Picking up that announcement were several local broadcast and newspaper outlets.

Also put on temporary display was a Bible, belonging to Abraham Lincoln, that President Barack Obama used for his second inauguration. You can read more about it this previous blog post. Outlets including USA Today, CNN and The Baltimore Sun featured stories.

Also in commemoration of the Civil War and coinciding with the exhibition, Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey did a poetry reading and lecture at the Library on January 30. A few outlets caught up with her prior to the event and as she began her in-office residence at the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center – the first laureate to do so.

“Being in the presence of history and a place so rooted in the national imagination – it’s so interesting to me,” she told The Washingtonian. “I like it very much. I think I could live here.”

Covering her lecture was Washington Post reporter Ron Charles. Trethewey discussed Walt Whitman and his war poems. “Her lecture elegantly blended scholarship, cultural criticism and poetry.”

In a last bit of news, Glenn Fleishman of Boing Boing took a tour of the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation to “find the heart of the nation’s audiovisual memory.” He went on to discuss the Library’s efforts in preserving resources using old nitrate film base, copyright restrictions on films and sound recordings and the creation of digital versions of master recordings.

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