Neil Simon Papers at the Library of Congress

Earlier this week, the Library of Congress formally announced the acquisition of the Neil Simon Papers, which are currently being processed and will ultimately be served to researchers in the Performing Arts Reading Room. Learn more about the collection from Senior Music Specialist Mark Horowitz and see select items from Simon’s archive in this video overview:

To celebrate this exciting acquisition, the Library of Congress hosted Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, and John Benjamin Hickey for a conversation about Neil Simon and his legacy. Hickey directs Broderick and Parker in the production of Simon’s comedy Plaza Suite currently running on Broadway. Broderick’s history with Neil Simon runs deep. He starred in Simon’s autobiographical plays Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues, landed his first film role in Max Dugan Returns (written by Simon), and starred in the 2005 revival of The Odd Couple alongside Nathan Lane. The conversation was livestreamed and the recording is available online for all to watch and enjoy.

When the Neil Simon Collection is processed, a finding aid will be published on the Performing Arts Reading Room list of special collections. In the meantime, you can email questions about Simon materials via the Library’s Ask a Librarian platform.

Who Was Maia Bang Hohn?

Back in October 2021, my dear colleagues in the Music Division Concert Office asked me to film a short curator talk about our world famous Nicolò Paganini holdings. As I learned more about Maia Bang Hohn, whose widower Charles sold the materials to the Library, I realized that she is more than just a collector in a footnote. In this blog post, I share some of my findings that couldn’t make it into my brief video as well as reiterate some key ones that did.

West Side Story: The Creation of a Classic

On November 9, 2021, Senior Music Specialist Mark Horowitz presented a webinar on the creation of the 1957 musical “West Side Story,” drawing on materials from the Leonard Bernstein Collection, the Arthur Laurents Papers, and the Oliver Smith Papers to illustrate his talk. Learn more about the history of the musical and how to find digitized “West Side Story” material on the Library’s website before viewing the Spielberg’s new film adaptation.

Allen Toussaint’s Treasures Found in L.A. Swapmeet

In 2007, the Library presented back-to-back concerts with two quintessential New Orleans pianists Henry Butler and Allen Toussaint. Mr. Toussaint was in the news recently because his legacy studio recordings, long thought lost in the flood from Hurricane Katrina, turned up at a swap meet in Torrance, California. Toussaint wrote, arranged and produced many hits […]

Finding Strayhorn: Reflections from Chris Potter

The following is a guest post from saxophonist Chris Potter, who participated in the Music Division’s Finding Strayhorn discussion panel on June 12, 2019. My visit to the Library of Congress fortunately coincided with the announcement that the Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers are now available for the public to study. I was […]

Remembering Lil Hardin Armstrong

Sunday February 3 gives us the opportunity to remember one of the first important songwriters in jazz, Lillian Hardin Armstrong. She was born on that day in 1898 in Memphis and may be best known as Louis Armstrong’s second wife and writer of some of his enduring classics, such as “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue,” which […]

Happy 95th Birthday to Max Roach

Today marks the 95th birthday of jazz drummer, bandleader and educator Max Roach (1924-2007). His papers are among the most heavily researched jazz archival collections in the Music Division revealing much about jazz and the intersection of modernism and the development of Black political consciousness in 20th-century music. And though the collection includes a draft […]

Story Time with Music

Friday, July 27 was a special day for me as a new employee at the Library of Congress. I had the wonderful opportunity to represent the Music Division in an outreach initiative, Story Time for Young Readers. Story Time is a program at the Young Readers Center every Friday at 10:30am. Once a month, March […]