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Category: Hispanic and Latino

A colorful mural of Los Angeles history, with the face of a brown-skinned woman at left and pictures from various time periods portrayed in her flowing tresses.

L.A. As You’ve (Probably) Never Seen It

Posted by: Neely Tucker

To tell the history of Los Angeles, artist Barbara Carrasco wove vignette scenes through the flowing tresses of “la Reina de los Ángeles,” based on a portrait of her sister. The 80-foot mural stretches from prehistory (the La Brea Tar Pits) to the imagined future (Los Angeles International Airport’s Space Age Theme Building) with subjects ranging from the inspiring to grievous. Carrasco's original graphite design, depicting L.A. history flowing through long tresses of hair, now has a home in the Library.

A man in a cap and glasses stands behind of a large desk with several items set in front of him.

Alan Haley, Preservation Specialist

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Alan Haley, a preservation specialist in the Conservation Division, has worked on everything from an ancient Chinese scroll to the transcript of the Amistad trial in the Library's collections, but has also traveled the globe assisting other libraries with important items or artifacts that are threatened.

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

National Recording Registry 2024! Green Day, Blondie, Doug E. Fresh, Juan Gabriel!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Blondie, Green Day and the Mexican star Juan Gabriel headline the National Recording Registry Class of 2024, revealed today by Librarian Carla Hayden. The 25 recordings added to registry each year are recognized for their aesthetic, cultural or historical"signficance to the American story, and includes everything from wax cylinder recordings to podcasts. This year's class featured songs and recordings spanning nearly a century, including work by comic actress Lily Tomlin, from hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh (and Slick Rick) and the polished New Wave sound of The Cars.

Gilded Age illustration of a moonlit, snowy night with a horse drawn coach outside a mansion. People cast long shadows on the snow.

Holiday Cheer? Try These Seasonal Favorites

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Here's a handy guide to holiday stories that readers frequently turn to at the Library. Favorites include the tale of who invented Christmas tree lights, how Truman Capote wrote "A Christmas Memory" (the Library has his handwritten first draft) and how a Central American flowering plant became the favorite Christmas flower around the world.

A pre-teen boy claps both hands to his face as he yells into the bathroom mirror

Home Alone? Check Out The 2023 National Film Registry!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

A sizzle reel introduces the 25 influential films from the past 102 years have been selected for the 2023 Library of Congress National Film Registry, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today, inluding blockbusters such as "Fame," "Home Alone" and "Apollo 13," the popular romance "Love & Basketball," and influential feature films and documentaries such as "12 Years a Slave," "Matewan," "Alambrista!" and "Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision."

Broadside shows a male skeleton dressed in a charro outfit wielding a machete in a graveyard, apparently in the process of creating more skeletons – a crowd of skeletons surround him and skulls lie at his feet. The text block is decorated with four small skulls.

José Guadalupe Posada’s Lively Calaveras and Enduring Legacy

Posted by: Maria Peña

Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada, considered Mexico's most influential graphic artist, helped popularize the calavera as a satirical graphic motif, often printed with rhyming ballads or corridos. After Posada's death in 1913, the calaveras became closely associated with the "Día de los Muertos," a holiday in November to honor and remember deceased loved ones. The Library of Congress has one of the largest collections of his work in the U.S. and is a major resource for understanding Mexican culture.

Colorful mural of a actress Delores Del Rio, with her face in shades of blue, at the center

Hispanic Heritage Month: Two Mexican Stories, Including Dolores del Rio

Posted by: Neely Tucker

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, which makes it an excellent time to check in on the Library's collection of Free to Use and Reuse images, this time from a set devoted to Hispanic life and culture. We look at two photos of two young Mexican women who came to work in the U.S. One is of a mural devoted to the legendary actress Delores del Río, the first Latina to become a Hollywood icon. The second is Dorothea Lange's unforgettable Depression-era image of the daughter of a Mexican field laborer in rural Arizona.

Color photo of a man and woman ballroom dancing on an open patio.

Dancing the Danzón: Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted by: Maria Peña

Born in 19th-century Cuban dance halls, danzón eventually became the country’s official national dance. Influenced by African and European music and dance traditions, it continues to thrive outside the big island’s borders, in Mexico and beyond, in orchestra halls and dance salons, leaving an indelible mark on Latin American culture. It’s a genre all its own and a lovely bit of romance to remember during Hispanic Heritage Month here in the U.S. The Library has plenty of music, films and books to help you explore its rich history.