Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada, considered Mexico's most influential graphic artist, helped popularize the calavera as a satirical graphic motif, often printed with rhyming ballads or corridos. After Posada's death in 1913, the calaveras became closely associated with the "Día de los Muertos," a holiday in November to honor and remember deceased loved ones. The Library of Congress has one of the largest collections of his work in the U.S. and is a major resource for understanding Mexican culture.
Hans Christian Andersen created wrote timeless fairy tales ("The Little Mermaid," "The Ugly Duckling") but also created handmade picture books as gifts for children of a few acquaintances.The Library holds one of them, assembled by Andersen and his friend Adolph Drewsen in 1862 for Drewsen’s 8-year-old grandson, Jonas. The picture book is part of a collection of first editions, manuscripts, letters and presentation copies gathered over a 30-year span by Danish actor Jean Hersholt — probably the most comprehensive collection of Andersen material in America.
“The ‘Canary’ Murder Case,” by S. S. Van Dine, is the latest in the Library’s Crime Classics series. The publication gives readers a new look at an influential 1927 detective novel featuring the urbane detective Philo Vance.
Since 2006, the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources program has been empowering educators to make use of the Library’s digitized collections in a vast array of subjects. Lee Ann Potter, the Library's director of educational outreach, writes about several schools that use historical documents, photographs, maps and other resources to help students gain an understanding of the past.
Louise Glück, the poet whose often personal, always searching work won the Nobel Prize in 2020 and who served as the U.S. poet laureate for the Library in 2003-2004, has died at the age of 80. Here, we remember a night at the LIbrary in the spring of 1975, when she was a nervous young poet reading her work in an event at the Coolidge Auditorium.
It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, which makes it an excellent time to check in on the Library's collection of Free to Use and Reuse images, this time from a set devoted to Hispanic life and culture. We look at two photos of two young Mexican women who came to work in the U.S. One is of a mural devoted to the legendary actress Delores del Río, the first Latina to become a Hollywood icon. The second is Dorothea Lange's unforgettable Depression-era image of the daughter of a Mexican field laborer in rural Arizona.
Born in 19th-century Cuban dance halls, danzón eventually became the country’s official national dance. Influenced by African and European music and dance traditions, it continues to thrive outside the big island’s borders, in Mexico and beyond, in orchestra halls and dance salons, leaving an indelible mark on Latin American culture. It’s a genre all its own and a lovely bit of romance to remember during Hispanic Heritage Month here in the U.S. The Library has plenty of music, films and books to help you explore its rich history.
The Library recently put online some 230 histortic manuscripts, some of them more than a thousand years old, in Hebrew and similar languages, such as Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian and Yiddish. The collection, available online for researchers and the public for the first time, includes a 14th-century collection of responsa, or rabbinic decisions and commentary, by Solomon ibn Adret of Barcelona, considered one of the most prominent authorities on Jewish law.