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Archive: 2024 (14 Posts)

Black History Month: Spike Lee and “Bamboozled”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Spike Lee's 2000 film "Bamboozled," a hard-edged satire of blackface in cinema and television, was part of the 2023 class of National Film Registry and his fifth film to join the list. In an interview with the Library, he explains how the film is an answer to D.W. Griffith's notorious "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915, which set into play more than a century of racist tropes in films.

Bright daylight photo of a woman holding a child, standing in front of a display booth, watching a female Library technician point out something on a display board

Library Conservation Specialists Help Save Books, Artifacts After Disasters Around the World

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Since a disastrous 1966 flood in Florence, Italy, Library conservation specialists have advised disaster victims around the world about how to salvage their damaged books and artifacts. One of the most recent emergencies was a 2023 flood in Vermont. A Library team spent just over two weeks in the region.

Color portrait of Tim Gunn, from waist up. He's half turned to the camera, wearing a dark suit and purple tie; a window is in the background.

Tim Gunn on Fashion

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Tim Gunn is an academic, bestselling author and pop culture icon. He won an Emmy Award for his role as host of “Project Runway.” He wrote this short essay on the difference between fashion and clothes for the Library of Congress Magazine's fashion issue.

George Gershwin leans foward onto a table, smiling and wearing suit and tie. Black and white head and shoulders photo.

Gershwin’s “Rhapsody” at 100; Still Capturing the American Character

Posted by: Neely Tucker

George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” a rapturous burst of music that has become a motif of the nation’s creative spirit, turns 100 today. It was first performed in New York on the snowy Tuesday afternoon of Feb. 12, 1924. Commissioned and premiered by the popular conductor Paul Whiteman at a concert designed to showcase high-minded …

Cover of Harper's Bazar, featuring a romantic image of a woman by the beach, in hues of green, selling for 10 cents a copy

It’s Sew Complicated

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

Harper’s Bazar magazine opened up a wide world for the modern woman of 1902, including a large foldout sheet of sewing patterns for the thrifty homemaker. When unfolded, the sheet revealed a bewildering tangle of dots, dashes, lines, X’s and ovals that crisscrossed a total of 1,134 square inches of paper in an unholy mess covering both front and back. The marks delineated patterns for 60 articles of clothing. When unfolded, the sheet reveals a bewildering tangle of dots, dashes, lines, X’s and ovals that crisscross a total of 1,134 square inches of paper in an unholy mess covering both front and back. The marks delineate patterns for a whopping 60 different component parts of articles of clothing.

Liz Claiborne poses at a desk in front of an array of colorful sweaters.

Life and Fashion in the American 20th Century

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Fashion has always been an avenue for reference and reinvention, expressing societal viewpoints and political movements through fabric and adornment. As the Library’s collections demonstrate, this was especially true for 20th-century fashion in the U.S. The story of American style is depicted in the Library’s century-old newspapers and magazines; in department store catalogs and home-sewing pattern books; in vintage lithographs and high-gloss photography.

The Library Wants Your COVID-19 Stories!

Posted by: Maria Peña

he Library, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization StoryCorps, has launched the COVID-19 Archive Activation website to encourage everyone share their COVID-19 stories. Stories will be deposited into the American Folklife Center and made accessible at archive.StoryCorps.org. The new website is part of the COVID-19 American History Project — a congressionally mandated initiative to document and archive Americans’ experiences with the pandemic.

Photo of sheet of notebook paper in a three-ring binder with song lyrics and musical notation written in blue pen

“Feeling Good” About the Leslie Bricusse Collection

Posted by: Neely Tucker

On May 15, 1962, the British songwriting team of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley were up-by-the-bootstraps types, just hitting their 30s, and would become big stars. On that day, they scratched out what would become perhaps their most influential hit, a deceptively simple song called "Feeling Good." Nina Simone would make it her anthem in 1965, and Michael Bublé would have a worldwide hit with it nearly three decades later. The Library's Bricusse collection preserves that moment of creation in one of his meticulously kept notebooks.