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Library in the News: February 2014 Edition

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News in February brought word of several Library of Congress collection resources. Here are a few headlines.

On January 30, the Library launched an online collection showcasing selected items from the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, along with elements from other important science-related collections at the Library.

Gizmodo highlighted eight of the most fascinating items from the collection. Included in the list were a home movie of a young pianist Sagan, a rough draft of his novel “Contact” and ideas for a video game version of the novel “as exciting as most violent video games.”

“The Sagan archive gives us a close-up of the celebrity scientist’s frenetic existence and, more important, a documentary record of how Americans thought about science in the second half of the 20th century,” wrote Joel Achenbach for Smithsonian Magazine.

Also running articles were Boing Boing and The Verge.

Launching just a week later was the Library’s “Songs of America” presentation, which explores American history through music.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer featured highlights of the new presentation.

“Just how amazing is this collection? There are 55 items related soley to the song ‘Amazing Grace’ with versions from the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis, Willie Nelson, The Byrds and Sam Cook.”

Other outlets running stories were CBS, WJLA and the Associated Press.

While this collection isn’t available online yet, the Archive of American Public Broadcasting will be an archive of countless hours footage and audio tape from the mid-20th century through the first decade of the 21st century that contain local, regional, and national history, news, public affairs, civic affairs, religion, education, environmental issues, music, art, literature, filmmaking, dance, and poetry. The digital preservation files the archive creates will be held at the Library of Congress, and the public-facing website launches in 2015.

According to an article in The Atlantic, the Library will preserve the material “for the life of the republic plus 500 years.”

One of the Library’s most popular online collections is its Prints and Photographs Online catalog, which includes more than 1.2 million digitized images from the Prints and Photographs Division. Scholars, researchers, enthusiasts and even celebrities from around the world have access to this resource. Noted film director Wes Anderson was inspired by the Photochrom Prints collection for his new film “The Budapest Hotel.”

“Using the U.S. Library of Congress archive of photochrom images from 1895 to 1910, Anderson pieced together a visual aesthetic that was brought to life by [Adam] Stockhausen and art director Stephan Gessler,” wrote Trey Taylor for Dazed.

The New York Times also wrote a travel and arts feature on the movie and Anderson’s inspiration for the hotel at the center of the film.



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