A New Home Page for loc.gov

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:

Top Carousel
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.

Part of the new Library of Congress home page, Nov. 1, 2016.

Trending
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.

Part of the new Library of Congress home page, Nov. 1, 2016.

Your Library
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.

Part of the new Library of Congress home page, Nov. 1, 2016.

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!

13 Comments

  1. Diana Y
    November 1, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Dear Colleague,
    You and the library staff make it an enormous pleasure to read & research! Thank you for ‘all’ you do to bring interesting/exciting content to us.

    With grace I am,
    Diana Y
    Author/Playwright

  2. Tom Bober
    November 1, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Is there still an easy way to get to Chronicling America from the main page (or anywhere on the site) so that my elementary students don’t have to struggle through typing in the URL?

  3. Heidi Morgan
    November 1, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Thank-you Library Of Congress for the wonderful, informative ‘today in History’ e-mails!

  4. Erin Allen
    November 1, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    You can access “Chronicling America” by clicking the “Digital Collections” link below the large image at the top of the page. The collections are in alphabetical order, and “Chronicling America” is also part of the featured content on that page. Thanks!

  5. Dixie West, Hourly Reference Librarian for Austin Community College
    November 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    How wonderful to have this invaluable resource at our fingertips – to share, to read, to absorb, to fuel our dreams. Thank you, LOC!

  6. Kent
    November 1, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    No more Today in History? I don’t see a way to reach it aside for the search bar.

  7. Erin Allen
    November 2, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Kent,
    Thank you for your comment. “Today in History” is available as part of the “Digital Collections” section. The link is at the top of the new homepage, under the large scrolling image. Digital collections are listed in alphabetical order, and you can sort in descending order for easy access.

  8. Jessamyn
    November 2, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Congrats everyone, this looks lovely. I would love to see “today in history” back on the main page, but I know you have a lot of complicated choices to make when redesigning. Thank you.

  9. Chris Raymond
    November 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Congrats on an amazing achievement, given the depth of your content! I especially like the carousel, which serves a real purpose for visitors, and the trending block is well thought out as well.

    Kudos!

  10. Lon Spikes
    November 3, 2016 at 10:41 am

    What happened to this day in history? As a history buff I visited this site several times a week.

    Lonnie

  11. Marvin Mostow
    November 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Still having trouble finding “Today in History” using the Digital Collection Link. I can find it by clicking the 3 bars next to the Library of Congress logo at the very top and then clicking “Education” and scrolling down to “Today in History”. Perhaps it is a very popular feature and should be on the Home page.

  12. Marvin Mostow
    November 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Now that I am on a roll with comments, here is another one; I am a docent at the library. There are MANY school groups that visit. I think there should be material that the teachers of the groups receive that help them use and therefore take advantage of the resources available through the “new and improved” website when they return to their home schools. This is a major need.

  13. Erin Allen
    November 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    “Today in History” is also available as part of the “Digital Collections” section. The link is at the top of the new homepage, under the large scrolling image. Digital collections are listed in alphabetical order, and you can sort in descending order for easy access.

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