Pic of the Week: Dance Battle!

An Urban Artistry performer balances on his hand and fingers while dancing to the beats of disc jockey Baronhawk Poitier. Photo by Shawn Miller.

An Urban Artistry performer balances on his hand and fingers while dancing to the beats of disc jockey Baronhawk Poitier. Photo by Shawn Miller.

A performer competes in a “dance battle” in the Coolidge Auditorium on February 22 during a Homegrown Concert Series event of the American Folklife Center. Dance battles are an urban dance tradition that celebrate individual talent while helping to keep diverse forms of urban musical and dance expressions alive. In the Coolidge, pairs of dancers organized by the nonprofit Urban Artistry competed with one another for audience applause. Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, Urban Artistry documents and teaches urban musical and dance traditions of the Washington, D.C., region and beyond. It was founded in 2005 by performing artist and historian Junious Brickhouse, who served as the event’s emcee.

Beyoncé, Paul Bowles and More: Current GRAMMY Nominees with Library Connections

(The following is a guest post by Stephen Winick, writer-editor in the American Folklife Center.)  This year the GRAMMY awards promise to be exciting for music fans everywhere, but especially fans of the Library of Congress. At least four of the nominees have connections to the Library’s American Folklife Center (AFC). They present archival recordings, […]

World War I: “Trench Blues” — An African American Song of the War

(The following is a guest post written by Stephanie Hall of the American Folklife Center.) In 1934, folklorist John Lomax and his 19-year-old son Alan went to southern Louisiana to collect folksongs and music in many styles from several ethnic groups in English and French. Among the songs in the resulting collection is “Trench Blues,” a […]

Gwen Ifill, a History-Tracker and a HistoryMaker

Those who appreciate high-quality broadcast news were saddened today to learn of the passing of longtime PBS NewsHour co-host and Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill. The former New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News political, congressional and White House reporter, 61, had been under treatment for cancer. She and her NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff […]

Veterans History Project Gets New “Book”

Adding another “book” to its social media shelf, the Library of Congress welcomes the Veterans History Project to Facebook. There, VHP will be sharing the stories of our veterans along with other news and initiatives. Visitors are also encouraged to share their own stories and help VHP collect more. VHP’s Facebook joins several other Facebook accounts from the […]

New Online: Education, Folklife, Wartime Collections

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.) Educational Outreach This month, we’re very happy to have a new release in the excellent series of Student Discovery Sets produced by the Library’s Education Outreach team. Designed for classroom use on Apple’s iPad platform, Student Discovery sets “bring […]

Rare Survivor of Pacific War

(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Before he boarded the ship carrying prisoners of war across the ocean to a forced-labor camp, George Washington Pearcy divided his diary and gave the pieces to two comrades staying behind. If he didn’t survive the journey, […]

Pic of the Week: AFC Celebrates 40

The American Folklife Center (AFC) hosted a reception in celebration of its 40th anniversary last Wednesday. Special guests giving remarks were David Mao, acting Librarian of Congress; Kurt Dewhurst, chairman of AFC’s board of trustees; Betsy Peterson, AFC’s current director; and David Isay, founder of StoryCorps. The reception included a special performance by Nakotah LaRance, […]

Library in the News: April 2016 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues to make the news, especially with the April announcement of his returning for a second term. Herrera told Sara Catania of Reuters that poetry fans provided an “inspiration tsunami” during his first year in which he […]

Pic of the Week: StoryCorps Makes a Stop

In May 2005, two StoryCorps MobileBooths left the Library of Congress to travel across the United States—one taking an Eastern route and the other covering the Western states. This inaugural tour stopped at 34 cities, and visits lasted two and three weeks, with about 100 interviews collected at each location. The MobileBooth returned to the […]