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.
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 …
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was 60 years ago today -- August 28, 1963. We look back at that historic day, both at how it developed and its aftermath, in an era when terrorism, violence and assassinations targeted civil rights volunteers, workers and organizers.
"A Library for You" is the Library's multi-year initiative to connect readers and patrons to our collections in new ways. These new galleries, exhibits and showcases will present some of the Library's most stunning items, whether they are recent or thousands of years old. These include Lincoln's handwritten first draft of the Gettysburg Address, fragments of the ancient Greek epic the "Iliad," cuneiform tablets that are among the oldest examples of writing, pre-Columbian artifacts, Rosa Parks' papers and watercolors by Diego Rivera. They'll begin to open in 2024.
Nestled in the archives of the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection is a short, 1864 account of the remarkable life of Hannah Carson. “Glorying in Tribulation: A Brief Memoir of Hannah Carson, For Thirteen Years Deprived of the Use of All Her Limbs,” is testament to how a severely disabled Black woman became an inspiration to the Christian community, both white and black, in Philadelphia before and during the Civil War.
Susan B. Anthony annotated her copy of a Harriet Tubman biography with a brief note about the day the two larger-than-life women met at a social gathering at the dawn of a new century. Anthony was clearly delighted, underlining Tubman's name each time she wrote it.
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."
From 1961 to 1976, Ed Beach hosted “Just Jazz” on WRVR-FM in New York City. Beach played jazz — soloists, bands, traditional, modern — ranging from the early 1920s to the 1970s. He featured artists who achieved great fame — Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, Max Roach — along with musicians new to his audience. The show is now preserved online by the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a joint project of the Library of Congress and the Boston public broadcaster GBH.
This is a guest post by Michelle Krowl, a historian in the Manuscript Division. It appears in the Jan.-Feb. issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. In the wake of emancipation during the Civil War, African Americans submitted petitions to government entities in greater numbers than ever before to advocate for equal treatment before the law. …