Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction will be awarded to Jesmyn Ward. The 45-year-old Mississippian is the two-time winner of the National Book Award for the novels "Salvage the Bones" and "Sing, Unburied, Sing" among other major literary awards.
The Library has dozens of 19th century animated toy theaters that were wildly popular in Europe and the United States, displaying dashing stories of pirates, undersea adventures, magic and adventure. Conservators have been painstakingly mending damage caused by historical use, making sure researchers can draw insights from the theaters for years to come.
The papers of Leonard Downie Jr., who started as an intern at The Washington Post in the 1960s concluded his career with a 17-year run as executive editor, are now available for researchers in the Library's Manuscript Division. They offer insight on the Post's inner workings on such stories as Watergate, the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, the Valerie Plame affair, 9/11, the Unabomber and much more.
Historian George Chauncey, whose work has focused on LGBTQ issues for four decades, is the 2022 John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity. The Kluge Prize awards $500,000 to scholars for distinguished work in fields outside those covered by the Nobel Prize. Previous winners include political historian Danielle Allen, philosopher Jurgen Habermas, former president of Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and John Hope Franklin, the renowned scholar of African American history.
The Library preserves some of the papers of Sultan Ibrahim Njoya, the visionary leader of the Bamum kingdom in modern-day Cameroon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Njoya's royal family had ruled their region of the grasslands for hundreds of years. Under pressure from the colonial powers of Germany and then France, he created the first map of the kingdom, a language, an alphabet and a religion. He was a renowed patron of the arts, encouraging teachers, sculptors and artisans.
Mark Horowitz, a senior specialist in the Music Division's acquisitions and processing section, tells us about his job in acquiring and preserving some of the most famous works in American musical theater. Among other high-profile projects, he's worked with Stephen Sondheim, Lin-Manuel Miranda and has an upcoming book on his research into the papers of Oscar Hammerstein.
The film "Top Gun: Maverick" has caught the nation's imagination 36 years after the first "Top Gun" did, setting box office records. The Library placed the original film in the National Recording Registry and has several items, including the original print of the film, preserved in its collections.