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Category: LCM

“Language is Life” and Native American Historical Voices

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

The Library and three Native American tribes are collaborating on a project to digitize and restore some 9,000 wax cylinder recordings of Native Americans singing and telling stories from more than a century ago. The work is the subject of "Language is Life," a documentary narrated by Joy Harjo, the former U.S. poet laureate. It premiered at the Library in November in advance of its broadcast as part of the PBS series, “Native America.”

Colorful fashion sketch of a woman wearing a multi-colored dress

Florence Klotz: Costume Design & Broadway History

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Broadway legend Florence Klotz won six Tony Awards for her costume designs, more than any previous designer. The Library’s Florence Klotz Collection includes designs for many of her works, including “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Pacific Overtures,” “On the Twentieth Century,” “City of Angels" and “Kiss of the Spider Woman." For her final show alone, a revival of "Show Boat," she designed 585 costumes for 72 actors. In all, there are approximately 2,500 designs, plus hundreds of additional pages of correspondence, notes, photographs and other items. There also are more than 40 “Show Bibles” — extraordinary volumes that track every aspect of every costume for a show by performer.

Color portrait of Tim Gunn, from waist up. He's half turned to the camera, wearing a dark suit and purple tie; a window is in the background.

Tim Gunn on Fashion

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Tim Gunn is an academic, bestselling author and pop culture icon. He won an Emmy Award for his role as host of “Project Runway.” He wrote this short essay on the difference between fashion and clothes for the Library of Congress Magazine's fashion issue.

Cover of Harper's Bazar, featuring a romantic image of a woman by the beach, in hues of green, selling for 10 cents a copy

It’s Sew Complicated

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

Harper’s Bazar magazine opened up a wide world for the modern woman of 1902, including a large foldout sheet of sewing patterns for the thrifty homemaker. When unfolded, the sheet revealed a bewildering tangle of dots, dashes, lines, X’s and ovals that crisscrossed a total of 1,134 square inches of paper in an unholy mess covering both front and back. The marks delineated patterns for 60 articles of clothing. When unfolded, the sheet reveals a bewildering tangle of dots, dashes, lines, X’s and ovals that crisscross a total of 1,134 square inches of paper in an unholy mess covering both front and back. The marks delineate patterns for a whopping 60 different component parts of articles of clothing.

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.

Photo of sheet of notebook paper in a three-ring binder with song lyrics and musical notation written in blue pen

“Feeling Good” About the Leslie Bricusse Collection

Posted by: Neely Tucker

On May 15, 1962, the British songwriting team of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley were up-by-the-bootstraps types, just hitting their 30s, and would become big stars. On that day, they scratched out what would become perhaps their most influential hit, a deceptively simple song called "Feeling Good." Nina Simone would make it her anthem in 1965, and Michael Bublé would have a worldwide hit with it nearly three decades later. The Library's Bricusse collection preserves that moment of creation in one of his meticulously kept notebooks.

Family portrait on steps of a house with huge columns rising on both sides. All are well dressed; Orville Wright is the lone person standing, posed in the middle and behind the rest.

Historic Photos: The Wright Brothers, at Home and in the Air

Posted by: Neely Tucker

After Orville Wright's death in 1948, his estate donated a vast collection of his papers to the Library, including more than 300 glass plate and nitrate negatives of photographs taken (mostly) by the brothers between 1897 and 1928; images that provide an important and fascinating record of their home lives and of their attempts to fly. His "success house," Hawthorn Hill, is in many of these photos and is today a museum.