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Category: Rare Book and Special Collections

Several small items arrayed on a gray desk, including a wallet and two pair of glasses.

Treasures Gallery: What Did Lincoln Have in His Pockets the Night of His Assassination?

Posted by: Neely Tucker

The contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets the night he was assassinated -- a gathering of the ordinary and everyday -- have long been one of the Library's most fascinating holdings. They, along with Lincoln's work on the Gettysburg Address, are featured in "Collecting Memories: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” the inaugural exhibit of the Library's new Treasures Gallery, opening June 13. 

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.

A sepia-toned sheet of paper, with the title and opening lines of the Declaration of Independence

Proclaiming a New Nation: The Library’s Copies of the Declaration of Independence

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

After the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, the delegates spread the word as quickly as possible by publishing it on a broadside sheet and delivering it throughout the Colonies. Copies of the Dunlap Broadside (named after the printer) are now extremely rare, with only about two dozen copies known to surive. The Library has two, one of which belonged to George Washington.

An engraved portrait of Hannah Carson. She is seated, hands in lap around a small framed portrait (perhaps of her late husband or father). She is weaing a dark dress, buttoned to the collar, with her hair wrapped in a white scarf.

Hannah Carson: “Like a Fire in All My Bones”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

Nestled in the archives of the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection is a short, 1864 account of the remarkable life of Hannah Carson. “Glorying in Tribulation: A Brief Memoir of Hannah Carson, For Thirteen Years Deprived of the Use of All Her Limbs,” is testament to how a severely disabled Black woman became an inspiration to the Christian community, both white and black, in Philadelphia before and during the Civil War.

Photo portrait of James Joyce as a young man, with straw hat, glasses and moustache, wearing a suit and bow tie

Bloomsday! The Library’s One-of-a-Kind Copy of “Ulysses”

Posted by: Neely Tucker

It's Bloomsday, the annual celebration of James Joyce's landmark modernist masterpiece, "Ulysses." Published 101 years ago, Joyce's book famously examines one day — June 16, 1904 — in the life of Leopold Bloom of Dublin, Ireland. The Library has some of the most extraordinary copies of the book ever printed, inducing a custom-made copy with a cover made of calfskin; an explanation of the book's convoluted symbolism by Joyce himself; and a full-color anatomical chart of the human body, annotated to show how body parts correspond to specific chapters in the book.