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Medium close up photo of Liz, eyes upturned and hair pulled back neatly, blowing into a clear flute. The wall behind her is white, part of the Library's flute vault.

Fabulous Flutes

Posted by: Mark Hartsell

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.

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 …

NLS Shares Ukrainian Books to Aid War Refugees

Posted by: Neely Tucker

This is a guest post by Claire Rojstaczer, a writer-editor in the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. It recently appeared in slightly different form in the Library’s Gazette. Since Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, a flood of Ukrainian refugees has washed over Europe. The National Library Service for the Blind …

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

Library Enriches America’s Story by Connecting with Minority Communities, Funded by $15M Mellon Grant

Posted by: Brett Zongker

The Library today announced a new, multiyear initiative to connect more deeply with Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and other minority communities by expanding its collections, using technology to enable storytelling and offering more internship and fellowship opportunities, supported by a $15 million investment from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.