This post is by Elizabeth Schreiber-Byers, events liaison in the Library’s Special Collections Directorate.
During this year’s National Book Festival, Library of Congress experts are opening our national library to you in five virtual live presentations! These interactive sessions, taking place Sept. 20-24 at 3 p.m. ET, give you the chance to learn more about the Library’s collections and services, and to connect directly with our experts in live Q&A. From genealogy to Spider-Man, we have something for everyone.
Look inside the covers and learn how books are constructed. On Monday, Sept. 20, the Library’s head of Book Conservation, Shelly Smith, will show you how to identify the influences of historic book structures in the modern bindings of today. From papyrus to parchment to paper, from Gutenberg’s Bible to the pulp paperback, she shows you — with models and examples from the Library’s collections — how bookbinding has evolved through the centuries as well as highlights some recent projects completed by the Conservation Division.
Copyright is the engine of free expression. On Tuesday, Sept. 21, learn about how writing a story, creating a work of art, composing or recording music, or simply taking a picture engages with copyright. John A. Saint Amour, assistant section head for the Information Section at the U.S. Copyright Office, will talk about how copyright affects your work and what it covers. Join us to find out about the U.S. Copyright Office and the work it does to encourage creativity.
Many modern and contemporary artists have found singular joy in illustrating, interpreting and reimagining the legend, symbol and sentiment within literature and poetry. On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Library of Congress curators Stephanie Stillo and Katherine Blood, along with chief of the Rare Book Division, Mark Dimunation, will discuss the many different creative unions between art and the written word over the past century — beginning with early 20th-century livres d’artiste and concluding with contemporary graphic and book artists.
“With great power there must also come — great responsibility!” Before Spider-Man leaped off the pages of comic books and into the movies, cartoonist Steve Ditko and scriptwriter Stan Lee sat down at their desks and invented him. In this interactive event on Thursday, Sept. 23, aimed at children and young adults who may be aware only of the Marvel movies, Library staff Sara W. Duke and Megan Halsband will highlight and discuss how these stories came from comic books, and the imaginative possibilities of a talented writer and artist working as a team.
What happens when you find something unexpected in your family tree? More people than ever want to find their roots; however, many do not think about the emotional fallout from exposing family history. On Friday, Sept. 24, reference librarians Sheree Budge and Candice Buchanan use their own families as case studies for the secrets that genealogical research sometimes reveal, and provide resources that family history researchers can use to cope with the consequences of discovering surprising information about ancestors.
To register for any of these presentations, visit the National Book Festival schedule.
Join us for the 2021 National Book Festival, Sept. 17-26. Audiences are invited to create their own festival experience this year, with programs in a range of formats. Subscribe to this blog for future updates on the festival, and visit the festival website.