African-American History Month: Curating Black History

In this post, historians from the Library and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture highlight how collection items shed light on the black experience. The post is reprinted from the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. The entire issue is available online. Adrienne Cannon is the Afro-American history […]

African-American History Month: Making Freedom the Law of the Land

To celebrate African-American History Month and the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday—Feb. 12, 1809—we are sharing an article from “Building Black History,” the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine, available in its entirety online. The Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln understood, was a wartime measure that wouldn’t ensure the freedom of […]

African-American History Month: Happy Birthday, Frederick Douglass!

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass, and this month is African-American History Month. To celebrate, we are highlighting favorite items from the Library’s collections. This post is reprinted from “Building Black History,” the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine, available in its entirety online.   This […]

World War I: American Jazz Delights the World

This is a guest post by Ryan Reft, a historian in the Manuscript Division. In the afterglow of the armistice in 1918 that ended World War I, Europe, and particularly the city of Paris, exhibited a wild exuberance. In mid-January 1919, future civil rights pioneer and American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) officer Charles Hamilton Houston encapsulated […]

Building Black History: Find Your Roots

This is a guest post by Bryonna Head, a public affairs assistant in the Communications Office. It is reprinted from the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. The issue is available in its entirety online. The Library’s local history and genealogy resources make it easier for African-Americans to explore their family histories. […]

New Online: Scary Stories and More

This is a guest post by Stephen Winick of the American Folklife Center. An earlier version was published on “Folklife Today,” the center’s blog. With Halloween just around the corner, the Library of Congress has released a new web guide to Halloween resources at the Library. It features select materials on the folk customs, fine […]

This Day in History: James Baldwin

This post draws on an essay about Baldwin’s life and achievements by Alan Gevinson of the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. James Baldwin was born 93 years ago today, on August 2, 1924, in New York City. His many novels include his first, “Go Tell It on the Mountain” (1953), considered an American classic. He […]

Free to Use and Reuse: 19th-Century Portrait Photos

Military brass, senators, socialites and even babies—these are a handful of Washington, D.C., subjects photographed by Charles Milton Bell (1848–93) during the last quarter of the 19th century. The Library recently digitized more than 25,000 glass plate negatives produced by Bell and his successors between 1873 and the early years of the 20th century. The photographs document […]