(The following is a post by Gayle Osterberg, director of communications for the Library of Congress.)
The Library of Congress launched its first website in 1994. Since that time we have digitized and made available millions of items from our collections and added new features to help you take advantage of all that the Library offers.
During the past three years, the Library’s web team has been transitioning these vast online collections into a new format that is mobile friendly, enables faceted search across all formats — books, maps, photographs and more — and applies consistent information and presentation.
Today, we present a new home page for loc.gov that we hope will give visitors an ever-changing window into all this updated content. The new page will update frequently, reflecting the dynamic and resource-filled institution that is your nation’s library.
We are really excited about this new design because it lets us highlight more of the collections, services and programs that are available for you. It’s mobile-friendly and accessible to users with disabilities. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll find:
The top of the page features topical content that you’ll want to learn about — a newly digitized or updated collection, major Library events and new resources and services. The selections here will usually change monthly.
The “Top Searches” is a set of topics that users search for most frequently on loc.gov.
The “Featured Item” is a staff favorite from the Library’s collections, and we have a lot to choose from! We thought the Abraham Lincoln campaign banner was fitting for this U.S. presidential election season (and is one of my favorite things I’ve gotten to see at the Library).
The rest of the “Trending” section will serve as a dynamic space to expose more resources and voices from around the Library. We will feature recently published blog posts from our 16 blogs, options for connecting with Library experts, and other timely information.
In “Your Library” you can plan a visit, learn about the Library’s research centers and how to use them, and ask a librarian a question through our online reference service. This section also lists exhibitions currently on site, upcoming events and the latest news.
Free to Use and Reuse
The bottom of the page will feature items from the Library’s digital collections that the Library believes are freely available for your use. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, a U.S. government work, has no known copyright or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. (Please remember that rights assessment is your responsibility). The content featured here will change regularly.
Remember, this featured content is just a small sample of the Library’s digital collections that are freely available for your use. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection item has its own rights statement, which should be consulted for guidance. See more information about copyright and the Library’s collections.
Also, while the Library has digitized and made these collections available (and continues to digitize more content every day), even more of our collections are only available on our Washington, D.C. campus. We have a team of experts ready to help you with your research, and you can get in touch with them through our Ask A Librarian service.
We hope to see you often – on loc.gov or here in Washington!