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Category: Manuscripts

Handwritten title page of an essay written on lined notebook paper.

Treasures Gallery: Surviving Hiroshima

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Haruo Shimizu, a Japanese schoolteacher, survived the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. One year later, he wrote down his memories of that horrific day for a friendly U.S. soldier stationed in Japan, who brought it home after his deployment. Today, it is one of the items featured in the new Treasures of the Library gallery.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, in black and white half portrait, stands behind a table, leafing through a large book, with a painted portait of a judge behind her

Sandra Day O’Connor Papers Now Open for Research

Posted by: Neely Tucker

A major portion of the papers of Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, consisting of approximately 600 containers, opened for research use this week. Housed in the Manuscript Division, the collection documents the trajectory of O’Connor’s life in politics and law in Arizona and, later, as the U.S. Supreme Court’s first woman justice.

Football Forever!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

We're down to the college football national championship game next week and the NFL playoff are just around the corner. It's a perfect time to check in with "Football Nation" author Susan Reyburn as she chooses favorite items from the Library's collections. This article is slightly adapted from the January-February issue of the Library of Congress Magazine.

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.

Carl Sagan: Childhood Dreams of Space Flight

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Carl Sagan's dreams of space flight took root as a child as some of his enthusiastic artwork shows, particularly a drawing he called “The Evolution of Interstellar Flight.” It's in the Library's Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, composed of more than 595,000 items from throughout the astrophysicist's life.

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.

A sepia-toned sheet of paper, with the title and opening lines of the Declaration of Independence

Proclaiming a New Nation: The Library’s Copies of the Declaration of Independence

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the delegates spread the word as quickly as possible by publishing it on a broadside sheet and delivering it throughout the Colonies. Copies of the Dunlap Broadside (named after the printer) are now extremely rare, with only about two dozen copies known to surive. The Library has two, one of which belonged to George Washington.