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Archive: March 2015 (10 Posts)

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Celebrating Women’s History: America’s First Female P.I.

Posted by: Erin Allen

Walking into the Chicago office of Allan Pinkerton’s detective agency one afternoon in 1856 was a woman of medium height, “slender, graceful in her movements, and perfectly self-possessed in her manner.” Claiming to be a widow, aged 23, Kate Warne was looking for a job, and not as a secretary. One could imagine Pinkerton’s surprise …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

“Make Speedy Payment”: Women, Business and George Washington

Posted by: Erin Allen

(The following is a guest blog post by Julie Miller, early American historian in the Manuscript Division.) In 1766, Philadelphia shopkeeper Rebecca Steel advertised that she had for sale “Dry Goods, Bohea, Green, Hyson, and Congo Teas &c. as usual, at the most reasonable Rates,” and also “a Parcel of fine silks” that she would …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Curator’s Picks: American Women Poets

Posted by: Erin Allen

The following is an article from the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, in celebration of both Women’s History Month (March) and National Poetry Month (April). The issue can be downloaded in its entirety here. American history specialist Rosemary Fry Plakas highlights several women poets whose works are represented in the …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

BOOM Shaka-laka-laka!

Posted by: Jennifer Gavin

Where were you when you first heard that? I was in the theater audience for the movie “Woodstock,” and I recall thinking even then that the section featuring Sly and the Family Stone was the high point of the film. Now, whenever I hear “I Want to Take You Higher,” which has the Boom-shaka-laka-laka bridge …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Wipe That Scowl Off Your Face

Posted by: Jennifer Gavin

Photography was well-established by the dawn of the 20th Century–it had graduated from the tintype and daguerreotype to innovations allowing for smaller cameras and more portable exposure media. But as the 1800s became the 1900s, portrait photography carried forward a tradition of depicting people sitting stiffly, staring sternly into the camera. A handsome young immigrant …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Celebrating Women: Women’s History on Pinterest

Posted by: Erin Allen

(The following blog post is by Jennifer Harbster, a science research specialist and blogger for the Library’s Science, Technology, and Busines blog, “Inside Adams.” Harbster also helped create the Library of Congress Women’s History Month board on Pinterest.) March is designated as Women’s History Month and this year the National Women’s History Project has selected …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Wild Irish Foes

Posted by: Jennifer Gavin

Today we’re going to add a new term to your broad vocabulary: Fenian. It’s a noun that describes a member of an Irish or Irish-American brotherhood dedicated to freeing Ireland from British dominion. The name was taken from the “Fianna,” a group of kings’ guards led by the legendary Irish leader of yore, Finn MacCool. …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

George Washington and the Weaving of American History

Posted by: Erin Allen

(The following is a guest post by Julie Miller,¬†early American history specialist in the Manuscript Division.) What stories can a little record book that George Washington assembled to track the productivity of his weaving workshop at Mount Vernon tell? The book, which is part of the extensive collection of financial records that are part of …

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

Library in the News: February 2015 Edition

Posted by: Erin Allen

The Library’s big headline for February was the opening of the Rosa Park Collection to researchers on Feb. 4, which was also the birthday of the civil-rights icon. “A cache of Parks’s papers set to be unveiled Tuesday at the Library of Congress portrays a battle-tested activist who had been steeped in the struggle against …