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Category: Technology

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.

A man in a cap and glasses stands behind of a large desk with several items set in front of him.

Alan Haley, Preservation Specialist

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Alan Haley, a preservation specialist in the Conservation Division, has worked on everything from an ancient Chinese scroll to the transcript of the Amistad trial in the Library's collections, but has also traveled the globe assisting other libraries with important items or artifacts that are threatened.

“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.”

Jacqueline Katz, Library’s Einstein Scholar

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Jacqueline Katz is the Library’s 2022–23 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator. The fellowship program appoints accomplished K–12 teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM fields — to collaborate with federal agencies and congressional offices in advancing STEM education. She has taught biology and chemistry at Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey, for the …

Head and shoulders portrait of Ida B. Wells, based on a photograph. She's facing right, hair swept up in a bun, a stern expression on her face

Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the Maps of American Racism

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Ida B. Wells was 30 years old in 1892, living in Memphis and working as a newspaper editor, when a mob lynched one of her friends. Distraught, the pioneering journalist set out to document the stories of lynching victims and disprove a commonly asserted justification — that the murders were a response to rape. Wells’ …

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

Robert Cornelius and the First Selfie

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Robert Cornelius, a Philadelphia photographer, is believed to have taken the world's first self-portrait -- the first selfie -- in 1839. The Library, which already had the world's large collection of his work, in December acquired a donation from Cornelius’ great-great-grand-daughter, Sarah Bodine, of more of his photographic materials. Preservationists are now at work on the new donation.

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

My Job: Introducing the Library’s Einstein Distinguished Educator

Posted by: Wendi Maloney

Kellie Taylor is the Library’s first-ever Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator. The fellowship program appoints accomplished K–12 teachers of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — the STEM fields — to collaborate with federal agencies and congressional offices in advancing STEM education across the country. Taylor has a doctorate in educational technology from Boise State University. She …