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Library in the News: August 2013 Edition

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August saw the opening of two new exhibitions at the Library of Congress. On Aug. 14, the Library exhibition “A Night at the Opera” debuted followed by “A Day Like No Other: 50 Years After the March on Washington” on Aug. 28. Both exhibitions received a variety of headlines.

“They came to Washington, D.C. with determination in their hearts and freedom on their minds. … They were from all walks of life, all races and all denominations. They were old and young, able-bodied and impaired, poor and wealthy, average citizens and the very famous, all sharing the same mission and goal – to be a part of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom,” wrote Yahoo! News. “This exhibition transports visitors to that momentous day, August 28, 1963 – a day that transformed our nation – when 250,000 people participated in the largest non-violent demonstration for civil rights that Americans had ever witnessed.”

In a headline that read “How to Commemorate the March On Washington Without Ever Leaving Your Computer, “ Popular Science highlighted the Library’s collection of march photos from U.S. News & World Report, in addition to linking to Library blog posts about the historical event.

Other outlets running features on the March on Washington exhibition included the Examiner and broadcast outlets WTTG Fox DC, NBC DC and WTOP (here and here).

Reviewing “A Night at the Opera” was the Washington Post’s Anne Midgette.

““A Night at the Opera,” an exhibition that opened last week at the Library of Congress and will travel to Disney Hall in Los Angeles in 2014, represents a lot of goals packed into a single show of about 50 objects. This makes it a fitting tribute to an art form that involves several different art forms — visual arts and theater, dance and music — packed into a single performance,” wrote Midgette.

“Opera buffs are as likely to feel as tantalized as fulfilled by glimpsing only individual items from the many archives and collections within the library’s holdings.”

Continuing to make the news are the Library’s preservation efforts, including its work in archiving tweets since Twitter’s inception in 2006. Robert A. Lehrman of The Christian Science Monitor spoke with the Library’s Jane Mandelbaum and Thomas Youkel, who are leading the project team.

“Mandelbaum and Youkel pool their knowledge to figure out how to archive the tweets, how researchers can find what they want, and how to train librarians to guide them,” Lehrman wrote.

“Historians want to know not just what happened in the past but how people lived. It is why they rejoice in finding a semiliterate diary kept by a Confederate solider, or pottery fragments in a colonial town,” he continued.


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