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Category: National Audio-Visual Conservation Center

A woman with sterile rubber gloves leans over a turntable to place a needle on a record.

Saving the Sounds of History

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

The Library's custom-designed multitracking studio at National Audio-Visual Conservation Center was built to house and preserve the collections of guitarist and audio-engineering innovator Les Paul. But it's also used to convert, preserve and save recordings made on formats that may not last. It's one of several labs that use cutting-edge technology to save the nation's recorded sound history.

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.

“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.”

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."

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

“Maestro” — A Look at Leonard Bernstein’s Papers at the Library

Posted by: Neely Tucker

"Maestro," the high-profile film biography of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, hits theaters this week, starring Bradley Cooper. The Library holds a vast trove of Bernstein's papers, some 400,000 items that document every stage of his life and career. In a brief video, Mark Horowitz, a senior music specialist at the Library and the archivist for the Bernstein Collection, gives a tour of the material and its cultural significance.

Against a black background, an illustration of an elegantly dressed woman, in 1920s-style attire, stands with her right arm cocked on her hip and her left holds a long cigarette holder. Her eyes are closed, and her face is turned away from the viewer.

New! “The ‘Canary’ Murder Case” from Library’s Crime Classics Series

Posted by: Neely Tucker

“The ‘Canary’ Murder Case,” by S. S. Van Dine, is the latest in the Library’s Crime Classics series. The publication gives readers a new look at an influential 1927 detective novel featuring the urbane detective Philo Vance.

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.