Inquiring Minds: Raising a Curtain on Amy Beach, Musical Pioneer

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Amy Beach (1867–1944), whose musical accomplishments changed the way Americans understood the possibilities for women in music. Born in New Hampshire to a prominent New England family, Beach was a child prodigy: by age four, she was composing simple waltzes; at seven, she began giving […]

Update on the Twitter Archive at the Library of Congress

In 2010, the Library of Congress announced an exciting and groundbreaking acquisition—a gift from Twitter of the entire archive of public tweet text beginning with the first tweets of 2006 through 2010, and continuing with all public tweet text going forward. The Library took this step for the same reason it collects other materials – […]

Featured Item: Let’s Go Sledding!

To celebrate the season, we’re highlighting a historical advertisement for Star Toboggans on our home page this month. The colorful sledding scene is part of the Library’s Popular Graphic Arts Collection, which contains more than 15,000 historical prints published between 1700 and 1900. The prints depict images from everyday life, historical events, celebrities, popular destinations […]

Trending: Who Invented Electric Christmas Lights?

Thomas Edison, inventor of the first successful practical light bulb, created the very first strand of electric lights. During Christmas 1880, strands of lights were strung outside his Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory, giving railroad passengers traveling by their first look at an electrical light display. But it would take almost 40 years for electric […]

Rare Book of the Month: Caldecott for Christmas

This is a guest post by digital library specialist Elizabeth Gettins. This December, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division is revisiting the lively and whimsical illustrations of Randolph Caldecott (1846–1886), who customarily published works at Christmastime, giving his young readership a special holiday treat. This tradition started as the result of a lucky circumstance […]

This Day in History: Wright Brothers Take Flight

On a dark and windy morning on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, 114 years ago this Sunday, Orville Wright took flight in a tiny airplane he and his brother Wilbur had painstakingly constructed. The 605-pound craft flew all of 120 feet and remained airborne only 12 seconds. After Orville’s first success, Wilbur set the […]

Free to Use and Reuse: Selections from the National Film Registry

The Library of Congress is offering film lovers a special gift during the holiday season: Sixty-four motion pictures, named to the Library’s National Film Registry, are now available online. The collection, “Selections from the National Film Registry,” is also available on YouTube. These films are among hundreds of titles that have been tapped for preservation because of […]