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Category: Collections

Painted illustration depicts the emperor, his crown prince and the royal family celebrating a joyous, nighttime Indian festival on the banks of a river with fireworks, music and feasting.

Library Treasures: New Gallery Shows Off Premier Holdings

Posted by: Neely Tucker

This June, the Library will open “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” an exhibition that explores the ways cultures preserve memory and shows off some of the Library's most valuable holdings. The exhibition is the first in the Library’s new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery.

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.

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.

Full page color illustration of a large snake in between a man and woman in 19th century dress.

Hans Christian Andersen’s Wild Scrapbooks

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

Hans Christian Andersen created wrote timeless fairy tales ("The Little Mermaid," "The Ugly Duckling") but also created handmade picture books as gifts for children of a few acquaintances.The Library holds one of them, assembled by Andersen and his friend Adolph Drewsen in 1862 for Drewsen’s 8-year-old grandson, Jonas. The picture book is part of a collection of first editions, manuscripts, letters and presentation copies gathered over a 30-year span by Danish actor Jean Hersholt — probably the most comprehensive collection of Andersen material in America.

Image of an ornate clock showing 2:05 with sculpted male figures sitting on each side of the clock face

The Library Reimagined, with You in Mind

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

"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.

Three dolls wearing bathing suits line up next to their original boxes.

Barbara Millicent Roberts is at the Library — But Just Call Her Barbie

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Barbara Millicent Roberts debuted in 1959, when Elvis reigned supreme and Berry Gordy had just founded what would become Motown. "The Twilight Zone" dazzled television viewers. Suffice it to say it was a long, long time ago, but Barbie is bigger than ever, thanks to a new film. We take a quick look at the Barbie dolls in our Geppi Collection.

Fronts and backs fo several recently donated baseball cards, including Derek Jeter's rookie card.

Library’s Baseball Card Collection: It’s (Mostly) the Topps!

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

The Library recently added 45,000 baseball cards to its archives thanks to the donated collection of Peter G. Strawbridge, who preserved complete sets of every major league team from 1973 through 2019 along with some Boston Red Sox cards from earlier years. This builds on the 2,100-card collection of Benjamin K. Edwards, which includes legendary figures from the sport's first half-century: Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson and Cy Young. The new cards include greats such as Ted Williams, Roberto Clemente and Derek Jeter.