No Jewish marriage is complete without a ketubah, a traditional legal document introduced during the wedding ceremony. The ketubah not only legitimizes the marriage but, following Jewish law, also spells out the groom’s financial and conjugal obligations to his bride during their life journey. The Library holds 11 of these ornate, beautiful traditional documents, spanning centuries and many nations.
The handwritten Esther scroll, inked onto parchment and protected by a cylindrical case of silver filigree, is a delicate work of beauty and religious faith, more than a century old. It tells the biblical story of Queen Esther of Persia and how she helped save the nation’s Jews from annihilation by a wicked ruler. The …
This is a guest post by Hannah Freece, a writer-editor in the Library’s Publishing Office. “I broke par in Bingston.” With this enigmatic statement, private eye Toussaint Moore opens “Room to Swing,” Ed Lacy’s Edgar Award–winning 1957 novel, the newest addition to the Library of Congress Crime Classics series. It’s the hard-hitting story of a …
During the Russian Revolution, a wealthy young Jewish woman fled Moscow to publish the world's first illustrated children's books in Hebrew. Today, the only know copy of three of those books are preserved at the Library.
The photographs of Bernard Gotfryd, now free for anyone to use from the Library's collections, are a remarkable resource of late 20th-century American pop-culture and political life, as he was a Newsweek staff photographer based in New York for three decades. He was also a Holocaust survivor who wrote about the experience with grace and courage.
A 529-year-old Jewish religious text is discovered in the Library's collections, just in time for Eric Lander, the new director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, to use it in his swearing-in ceremony.
Roman Totenberg's papers at the Library tell the story of his amazing 101-year life. Born in Poland in 1911, he was a child prodigy on the violin, playing street corners in Russia to help his family survive famine. He returned to Poland, became a star while a teenager, eventually fled the Holocaust and became one of the 20th century's greatest violinists, living the rest of his life in the United States. He was as renowned as a teacher as he was a performer, and his three children -- Nina, Amy, Jill -- each went on to prominent careers.