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Category: Preservation and Conservation

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.

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."

Poster showing fashionable woman ice skating, dressed in style of 1890s Paris

Posters Power!

Posted by: Neely Tucker

This is a guest post by Sahar Kazmi, a writer-editor in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. It appears in the January-February issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. Before the internet meme, there were posters. Once upon a time, posters full of dazzling images and arresting slogans dominated the media landscape. They were displayed in …

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

Hair! At the Library? Yes, and Lots of It

Posted by: Neely Tucker

One of the Library's most unusual holdings is hair -- lots of it. The Library has locks and tresses and strands from people in the arts such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Walt Whitman and Edna St. Vincent Millay; presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, James Madison and Ulysses S. Grant; and any number of famous women, including Lucy Webb Hayes (first lady and spouse of President Rutherford B. Hayes); Confederate spy Antonia Ford Willard; Clare Boothe Luce and unidentified hair from Clara Barton’s diary. Nearly all of the hair stems from the 18th and 19th centuries, in the era before photographs were common and lockets of hair were seen as tokens that could be anything from romantic to momentous.

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

Library of the Unexpected: Cocaine, Hair and…Wedding Cake?

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The Library of Congress has unexpected items in its vast collections -- the contents of Lincoln's pockets when he was assassinated; cocaine used in a groundbreaking 19th-century surgery; a lock of Beethoven's hair; 3,000 year old cuneiform tablets from modern-day Iraq; Mesoamerican incense burners that are more than 2,000 years old; and a piece of Tom Thumb's wedding cake, now nearly 160 years old.

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

The Rolling Stones, Hell’s Angels and Altamont: A New View

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center has found a never-before-seen home movie of the infamous Altamont Free Concert in 1969, during which a member of the Hell's Angels killed a member of the audience. The incident became a cultural turning point of the era.

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

Maya Blue and the Vessels of the Diving Gods

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The ceramics created by ancient Maya potters make for some of the most vibrantly colored objects that survive in the archaeological record of the Americas. John Hessler, curator of the Library's Kislak collection, explains how their distinctive blue color has survived for centuries.