Inquiring Minds: Celebrating Black Musical Theater

For going on a decade now, theater historian Ben West has been making regular trips from his home in New York City to the Library of Congress. His mission? To cull through unpublished manuscripts, personal papers of Broadway authors, copyright drama submissions and more to tell the story of the American musical. Last September, West’s […]

New Acquisition: Billy Strayhorn Archive

This is a guest post by Larry Appelbaum, senior reference librarian and jazz specialist in the Music Division. It was first published on “In the Muse,” the division’s blog. Appelbaum interviewed Gregory Morris, nephew of Billy Strayhorn, to mark the Library’s acquisition of the Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers. In January 2017, I […]

Native American Heritage Month: Bringing Native Voices to Light

On June 4 in the Madison Building’s West Dining Room, Dwayne Tomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe of Maine stood to sing a tribal war song at a celebration organized by the American Folklife Center. It was an emotional moment for Tomah — the song hadn’t been performed publicly in 128 years. He was able to […]

Inquiring Minds: Finding Jonathan Larson’s Lost Works in Tapes and Boxes

The following is a guest post by theater historian Jennifer Ashley Tepper, the creative and programming director at Feinstein’s/54 Below, a Broadway supper club in New York City. From October 9 to 14, the club will present “The Jonathan Larson Project,” a concert of previously unheard work by the late composer and playwright. Tepper, who […]

Gershwin Prize: Emilio and Gloria Estefan to Receive 2019 Award

This post’s publication coincides with our celebration today of George Gershwin’s birthday – he was born on Sept. 26, 1898, in New York City. The Library also announced today the availability of rare Gershwin home movies on its newly launched National Screening Room website. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced this week that husband-and-wife team […]

Leonard Bernstein Centennial: My Father, Leonard Bernstein

To mark the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth—he was born on August 25, 1918—we’re republishing a column by his daughter Jamie Bernstein from the May–June issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine, in which she reflects on her famous dad’s legacy and on the Leonard Bernstein Collection at the Library of Congress. Issues of […]

Aretha Franklin and “Respect”

The “Queen of Soul,” singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin died today at age 76. Her 1967 recording of the song “Respect” was among the first inductees into the Library’s National Recording Registry when it was established in 2002. This guest post by Cary O’Dell in the Library’s Motion Picture, Broadcast and Recorded Sound division first appeared as […]