(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)
The Library’s new home page was released released last week, and you can read all about it in this excellent Library of Congress blog post. The Library’s Web Services team took advantage of the home page project to improve millions of other pages on loc.gov. Under the hood, we’ve put in substantial improvements to our overall design, including better support for mobile devices, improved accessibility and an overall simplification of our visual design to make content easier to read and use. Over the next several months, we’ll be converting more sections of our site to use this new interface. For now, all of our collections and search pages have been upgraded.
Just in time for the November 8th election is an upgraded and updated version of the Education Outreach team’s Elections Classroom Materials. The presentation focuses on the presidential election process, how the founders and others in the United States government determined who could vote in elections, how the right to vote has expanded and been protected and the different issues that have played a role in presidential campaigns. The presentation is illustrated with primary source materials from the Library’s collections.
November is Native American Heritage Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. The site is the fourth of the six heritage portals that we maintain that has gotten a full redesign treatment this year, joining Asian Pacific Heritage Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month.
Since 1932, the National Press Club has hosted luncheon gatherings that have allowed presidents, visiting world leaders and other leading personages to address the press and answer questions about pressing current affairs. In 1969, the Press Club donated to the Library of Congress audiotapes of talks they had been recording since 1952, a collection that has grown to nearly 2,000 recordings. You can read more about the collection in this blog post. The Library has made available online talks by some of its most important luncheon speakers, including presidents, international leaders and other political and cultural icons of the period, including Muhammad Ali and Ken Norton, Leonard Bernstein, Fidel Castro, Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn and eight U.S. presidents.
Accompanying essays set the topics discussed into relevant historical contexts and provide suggestions for further reading.
In this recording from 1959, Leonard Bernstein discusses his tour of the Soviet Union, Rock Music, West Side Story, and more. Library staff has also created an excellent detailed essay on this talk that provides historical context and analysis.