Mari Nakahara, director of the Library's Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering, chooses favorite collection items related to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. These include the original 1981 drawings submitted by the winning designer, Maya Lin, then a 21-year-old student at the Yale School of Architecture.
The Library's collection of historical newspapers uniquely illuminate the spectrum of LGBTQ+ history, including stories about little-known lives and incidents of resistance to persecution. This article includes coverage of Ralph Kerwineo in 1914 Milwaukee and the Pepper Hill Raid in 1955 Baltimore.
It's Bloomsday, the annual celebration of James Joyce's landmark modernist masterpiece, "Ulysses." Published 101 years ago, Joyce's book famously examines one day — June 16, 1904 — in the life of Leopold Bloom of Dublin, Ireland. The Library has some of the most extraordinary copies of the book ever printed, inducing a custom-made copy with a cover made of calfskin; an explanation of the book's convoluted symbolism by Joyce himself; and a full-color anatomical chart of the human body, annotated to show how body parts correspond to specific chapters in the book.
The papers of Ralph Ellison, one of the nation's greatest novelists of the 20th Century, are preserved at the LIbrary, including the sprawling mass of a manuscript that was edited into his posthumous novel, "Juneteenth."
No Jewish marriage is complete without a ketubah, a traditional legal document introduced during the wedding ceremony. The ketubah not only legitimizes the marriage but, following Jewish law, also spells out the groom’s financial and conjugal obligations to his bride during their life journey. The Library holds 11 of these ornate, beautiful traditional documents, spanning centuries and many nations.
Megan Metcalf is the Library's collection specialist and recommending officer for LGBTQ+ studies and women's and gender studies for the general and international collections. She's also a reference librarian in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. Here, she talks about her unique job and research.