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Category: Performing Arts

It’s a Small(er) World Without the Sherman Brothers

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Oscar-winning songwriter and composer Richard Sherman, whose musical work with his brother was such an essential part of Walt Disney Studios that the company renamed their premier soundstage after them, passed away over the Memorial Day weekend. He was 95. Sherman was in good spirits in 2022 when "It's a Small World (After All)," their song for the Disney theme park ride of the same name, was inducted into the National Recording Registry. He spoke about their career of writing music and lyrics for hit Disney films such as "Mary Poppins," "The Jungle Book" and "Winnie the Pooh."

Painted illustration depicts the emperor, his crown prince and the royal family celebrating a joyous, nighttime Indian festival on the banks of a river with fireworks, music and feasting.

Library Treasures: New Gallery Shows Off Premier Holdings

Posted by: Neely Tucker

This June, the Library will open “Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” an exhibition that explores the ways cultures preserve memory and shows off some of the Library's most valuable holdings. The exhibition is the first in the Library’s new David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery.

Two men sit on a slightly elevated stage, engaged in conversation.

Researcher Story: Cormac Ó hAodha & the Heart of Irish Music

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Cormac Ó hAodha, a resident fellow in the John W. Kluge Center, is taking a deep dive into the Library's Alan Lomax Collection. Lomax, a major figure in 20th-century folklore and ethnomusicology, made field recordings in the Múscraí region of County Cork, Ireland, in the early 1950s. Ó hAodha is using those recordings as part of his Ph. D studies at the University College Cork into the history of the Múscraí song tradition.

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.

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.

Black History Month: Spike Lee and “Bamboozled”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Spike Lee's 2000 film "Bamboozled," a hard-edged satire of blackface in cinema and television, was part of the 2023 class of National Film Registry and his fifth film to join the list. In an interview with the Library, he explains how the film is an answer to D.W. Griffith's notorious "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915, which set into play more than a century of racist tropes in films.

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.