New Online: Pre-1958 Chinese Collection

The contents of the Asian Division’s Pre-1958 Chinese Collection, totaling more than 40,000 items, are now fully searchable through the Library’s online catalog in both Chinese characters and Romanized script. This rich and diverse collection has served researchers and general audiences for nearly 90 years; until now, however, bibliographic records for these materials were only […]

Preserving History Page by Page: Q&A with an Aspiring Book Conservator

This is a guest post by Rebecca Naimon, an intern with the Library’s National and International Outreach Unit. She is a senior at the University of Chicago, majoring in English and minoring in statistics. Naimon supported the Library’s Junior Fellows Program this summer and is working on the 2017 National Book Festival. Riley Thomas spent […]

New Online: Mary Ann “Mother” Bickerdyke’s Papers

This is a guest post by Michelle Krowl, a historian in the Manuscript Division. During the Civil War, thousands of Union soldiers in the Western Theater affectionately called Mary Ann Bickerdyke (1817–1901) “Mother” for the tender maternal care she provided as a nurse and relief worker with the United States Sanitary Commission. Bickerdyke’s papers at […]

Looking to the Sky: Solar Eclipse 2017

This is a guest post by Kristi Finefield, a reference librarian in the Prints and Photographs Division. It was first published on “Picture This,” the division’s blog. “Thousands of residents stood with necks craned and peered wide-eyed through smudged glass as the moon sped between the sun and earth, gradually shutting off the bright morning […]

Free to Use and Reuse: Classic Children’s Page Turners

This is a guest post by Sasha Dowdy, program specialist in the Library’s Young Readers Center. Ever since I was in elementary school, books have been bridge-builders for me. I am not a native English-speaker—my first language is Russian, and my second is Japanese—so as a child, it was a challenge sometimes to connect with the […]

National Tell-a-Joke Day: Listen to the Earliest Recording of One!

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center archivist Kelly Revak. An expanded version appeared in “Folklife Today,” the center’s blog. Did you know that today is National Tell-a-Joke-Day? Neither did I, until one of my colleagues informed me. But it is timely, because I believe I have found the earliest audio recording of […]

World War I: Exhibition Specialists to Host Live Web Talks

This is a guest post by Kathleen McGuigan, an educational resources specialist in the Educational Outreach Program. Hundreds of visitors to the Library over the past few months have taken a deep dive into the Library’s World War I resources by attending a gallery talk—a presentation by a Library specialist about the exhibition “Echoes of […]

Rare Book of the Month: A Man Driven by “Amazing Grace”

This is a guest post by digital library specialist Elizabeth Gettins. It is always interesting to examine how a particular book came to publication with a look toward the cast of characters involved as well as the influences of place. The rare book I am highlighting this month is “Olney Hymns,” written by an English […]

Pic of the Week: Bringing the Navy’s History to Life Through Photos

Robert Hanshew, a photo curator for the U.S. Navy, visits the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division almost every Friday to research images related to naval history. Some of his discoveries from the Library’s collections are featured in a major outdoor public history exhibit that opened this summer. Titled “Behind These Walls,” the exhibit consists of […]