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Archive: 2023 (59 Posts)

Black and white image of the first airplane leaving the sand at Kitty Hawk.

The Wright Brothers History Takes Wing at the Library

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Wright Brothers collection in the Library is a marvel, a rare combination of significance and candor that details how Orville and Wilbur became the first to achieve powered flight and usher the world into a new age. The collection includes more than 31,000 items -- personal letters from family members, diaries, scrapbooks, engineering sketches -- and more than 300 historic glass-print negatives. You can chart the family’s entire odyssey here, from small-town Midwestern simplicity to worldwide fame, from youthful newspaper publishers to bicycle shop owners to builders of the world’s first airplanes.

Against a black background, an illustration of an elegantly dressed woman, in 1920s-style attire, stands with her right arm cocked on her hip and her left holds a long cigarette holder. Her eyes are closed, and her face is turned away from the viewer.

New! “The ‘Canary’ Murder Case” from Library’s Crime Classics Series

Posted by: Neely Tucker

“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.

Japanese-American evacuation from West Coast areas under U.S. Army war emergency order. Japanese-American child who will go with his parents to Owens Valley

Primary Documents: The Library’s Amazing Resource for Teachers

Posted by: Neely Tucker

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 Lee Ann Potter, the Library's director of educational outreach, writes about several schools that use historical documents, photographs, maps and other resources to help students gain an understanding of the past.

Black and white studio portait of Louise Glück. She is seated in a chair, leaning slightly to the photo's right, her left hand cupping her chin, gazing intently at the camera.

Louise Glück, Nobel Prize Winner, Former U.S. Poet Laureate, Dies at 80

Posted by: Neely Tucker

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.

Colorful mural of a actress Delores Del Rio, with her face in shades of blue, at the center

Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Mexican Stories, Including Dolores del Rio

Posted by: Neely Tucker

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.

A colorful image of names written in on a winding family tree

An African American Family History Like No Other

Posted by: Neely Tucker

When the Library opens its new Treasures Gallery next year, displaying some of the most striking papers and artifacts that span some 4,000 years, one of them will certainly stand out: The Blackwell's Kinfolk Family Tree. It's a dizzying, almost overwhelming piece of folk art that depicts the genealogical history of an African American family from Virginia. It's 8 feet tall and 6 feet wide, contains more than 1,500 names spread out on curving trunks, branches and leaves and details family connections from 1789 to the 1970s. Its most famous member? Arthur Ashe Jr., the tennis great.

Missed You Much: The Library’s ASCAP Concert Bursts Back into Life

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Pop hits, R&B grooves and Broadway anthems thumped through the Coolidge Auditorium Wednesday night as the We Write the Songs concert burst back into life for the first time in four years, featuring songwriters such as Jermaine Dupri, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Madison Love and Matthew West. The 90-minute showcase is an annual event (save for the recent COVID-caused gap) by the Library and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Foundation. It demonstrates to an audience heavy with members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers, often in danceable fashion, why the rights of creative artists have to be protected.

Douglas Brinkely and Carla Hayden, both seated, speak on stage, with an American flag in the background

“Books That Shaped America” Series Starts

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Some of the most important works by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, Willa Cather, Zora Neale Hurston and Cesar Chavez will be the focus of a new television series being produced by C-SPAN and the Library. The 10-part series — “Books That Shaped America” — starts on Sept. 18 and will examine 10 books …

Full portrait of a clean-cut young man, standing very erect and with a serious expression, in a photo studio.

John Phelan and the Sinking of the USS Oneida

Posted by: Neely Tucker

One of the LIbrary's genealogy specialists was struck by reading the elaborate inscription on a 19th-century cemetery marker in her hometown. It spurred deep research and an extensive Library research guide into the 1870 sinking of the USS Oneida, costing the lives of 115 sailors, including the young man whose memorial caused her to pause: John Phelan. This is his story.