Ernest Hemingway recorded more than four hours of personal stories, dictation and friends playing music at his home in Cuba during 1949-50 for his friend and future biographer A.E. Hotchner. Those recordings, part of the Library's Hotchner collection, show Hemingway at home with friends, but also how uncomfortable he was with the technology. The tapes have been used by multiple Hemingway biographers.
One of the first picture books for children was "Orbis Sensualium Pictus" ("Visible World in Pictures"), published by Johann Amos Comenius in 1658. Born in the present-day Czech republic, Comenius was a theologian and education reformer who believed in teaching children from a Christian perspective. His book, with 150 woodcut images, was popular across Europe for centuries. The Library has a 1664 edition published in London.
Hans Christian Andersen created wrote timeless fairy tales ("The Little Mermaid," "The Ugly Duckling") but also created handmade picture books as gifts for children of a few acquaintances.The Library holds one of them, assembled by Andersen and his friend Adolph Drewsen in 1862 for Drewsen’s 8-year-old grandson, Jonas. The picture book is part of a collection of first editions, manuscripts, letters and presentation copies gathered over a 30-year span by Danish actor Jean Hersholt — probably the most comprehensive collection of Andersen material in America.
“The ‘Canary’ Murder Case,” by S. S. Van Dine, is the latest in the Library’s Crime Classics series. The publication gives readers a new look at an influential 1927 detective novel featuring the urbane detective Philo Vance.
Louise Glück, the poet whose often personal, always searching work won the Nobel Prize in 2020 and who served as the U.S. poet laureate for the Library in 2003-2004, has died at the age of 80. Here, we remember a night at the LIbrary in the spring of 1975, when she was a nervous young poet reading her work in an event at the Coolidge Auditorium.
The Library recently put online some 230 histortic manuscripts, some of them more than a thousand years old, in Hebrew and similar languages, such as Judeo-Arabic, Judeo-Persian and Yiddish. The collection, available online for researchers and the public for the first time, includes a 14th-century collection of responsa, or rabbinic decisions and commentary, by Solomon ibn Adret of Barcelona, considered one of the most prominent authorities on Jewish law.
Ada Limón, the U.S. Poet Laureate. is launching the signature project of her tenure: seven site-specific poetry installations in national parks across the country, an initiative with the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America.
Jimmy Buffett, whose iconic "Margaritaville" was inducted into the National Recording Registry this year, died yesterday at age 76. We interviewed him in March for the NRR. Here, we remember that conversation, his story of writing the song, his performance at the Library in 2008 and how his songs inspired the author long ago, even before Buffett was a star.
Novelist, short-story writer and essayist George Saunders was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction Saturday evening in one of the final sessions of the 2023 National Book Festival, conferring a lifetime honor on a versatile writer whose most famous book cast one of Washington's most famous residents in a surreal light. Saunders' 2017 novel "Lincoln in the Bardo" took a fantastical look at the visit President Abraham Lincoln paid to his young son's tomb in a Georgetown cemetery one night in 1862.