Top of page

Great Mustaches of the Library of Congress: Music Division Edition

Share this post:

Detail from "The Shriners' march," by Mares Ah Yarrum. Cincinnati, John Church Co., 1893.
Detail from "The Shriners' march," by Mares Ah Yarrum. Cincinnati, John Church Co., 1893.

Our present-day fascination with the facial hair of yore may have behind it a number of reasons: a yearning for the sartorial elegance of by-gone days; an urge to lampoon the historical patriarchal hegemony;  the deep-seated instinct, like that found among birdwatchers and trainspotters, to catalogue the varieties of hirsute experience; a lot of spare time and income. Perhaps fitting into more than one category is the Flickr meme Great Moustaches of the Library of Congress. This phenomenon, which has been observed by the New York Times, involves taggers prowling the uploaded offspring of the Prints and Photographs Division for the most outrageous and oft-times graspable extremities of our male ancestry. One perusing Historic Sheet Music, 1800-1922 or Civil War Sheet Music in the Performing Arts Encyclopedia would find no less end to the handlebar goodness.


  1. That mustache was such a signature look that it seemed to represent much more than a facial style – perhaps some sort of class or personal statement.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.