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Library in the News: January 2015 Edition

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More than 112,000 patrons visited the Library of Congress exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor”  during its brief 10-week viewing, which ended Jan. 19.

“Much has been written about Magna Carta’s current visit to America, particularly in relation to the inchoate liberties it birthed. Rightly so,” wrote Kevin R. Kosar for The Weekly Standard. “The Magna Carta’s importance cannot be understated. It is font of the liberties we enjoy today.”

“So the Great Charter is more compelling as a reflection of a broader human quest, and its momentum ever since, despite the autocratic rulers, injustices, and conflicts spread across those eight centuries,” wrote Robin Wright for the New Yorker. “Its spirit, however erratically, has only deepened.”

The Washington Post highlighted the exhibition in its KidsPost section. Reporter Marylou Tousignant explained why the charter was important and the significance of its legacy.

“Magna Carta was the first charter to support the rights of the individual,” she wrote. “And although it was signed in another time and place, it was embraced by the Founding Fathers of the United States more than 550 years later as they wrote the new nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights.”

Continuing to make news in January was the all-star tribute concert honoring Billy Joel as the recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The concert aired on PBS Jan. 2. Covering the concert was Stav Ziv for Newsweek. Ziv spoke to several of the concert participants, including LeAnn Rimes, Gavin DeGraw and Twyla Tharp, in addition to Library officials.

Suzanne Hogan, special assistant to the Librarian of Congress told Ziv that  you could see members of the “U.S. Senate tapping their toes and mouthing the words to ‘Piano Man,’ sharing a common moment and common experience,” whatever their political inclinations and personal backgrounds might be, he reported.

Reminding readers that the Library of Congress has a wealth of resources for researchers, Roll Call presented a “refresher” on how to get acquainted with the institution’s collections.

“Whether you are new in town or just haven’t gotten around to perusing the wealth of knowledge maintained by the Library of Congress, now is the time to get schooled in the art of getting one’s proper learn on,” wrote Warran Rojas.

Speaking of collections, the Library has placed more than 400 images from Chilean-born photographer Camilo José Vergara on its website.

“This is the first step toward making more than 10,000 works available to the public,” William Grimes reported for the Artsbeat blog at the New York Times. “The project is open-ended. As Mr. Vergara continues to shoot, his work will be sent to the library and displayed online.

And, lastly, the Law Library of Congress blog, In Custodia Legis, was named one of ABA Journal’s annual “Blawg 100.”

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