Lizzo set the social media world afire last fall by playing, in concert, a short solo on a rare crystal flute that once belonged to President James Madison. The flute is one of the Library's most prized musical instruments and a showpiece of the collection of Dayton C. Miller, the famed physicist, astronomer and major flute aficionado. The collection, preserved in a vault at the Library, is not just the world’s largest of flute-related material, it is perhaps the largest collection on a single music subject ever assembled — and it’s what drew Lizzo to the Library in the first place.
The Library has dozens of 19th century animated toy theaters that were wildly popular in Europe and the United States, displaying dashing stories of pirates, undersea adventures, magic and adventure. Conservators have been painstakingly mending damage caused by historical use, making sure researchers can draw insights from the theaters for years to come.