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.
Mariah Carey surprised a festive crowd during the Library’s Santa Claus edition of “Live! At the Library“ last night, making an entrance as her signature hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” played in the Great Hall. Decked out in a stage-worthy sparkling dress and pink high heels, she picked up the song's framed certificate of induction from the National Recording Registry from Librarian Carla Hayden and - like most everyone else at the party - posed for a couple of pictures by the Christmas tree.
Mark Dimunation has displayed his love for rare books in print, onstage and on television since he was appointed chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library — the largest collection of rare books in North America — a quarter of a century ago, in 1998. He retires this week, telling stories about great books and great personalities he's come across during his tenure.
The Library of Congress is now home to a huge collection of nearly 100 pocket globes -- miniature globes that were fashionable art objects from the 17th to 19th centuries, during the age of exploration. The globes, perhaps three inches in diameter, were made of everything from ivory to papier mache, some housed in expensive sharkskin boxes. The family and foundation of the late Jay I. Kislak donated 74 pocket globes to the Library recently, adding to the collector's prodigious donations to the Library's Geography and Map Division.