Connecting Communities Digital Initiative – An Interview with Adriana Marroquin

We are happy to introduce Adriana Marroquin, a Librarian in the ISSN Section, U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division. They have joined us temporarily to work with the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI).

Photograph showing Douglas, owner of the Renaissance Casino in Harlem and founder of the Renaissance Five basketball team, holding his cat.

Genial Robert Douglas, who operates the Renaissance Casino, with his cat Rennie. Al Aumuller, photographer. 1951. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

What is your day-to-day job at the Library?

I am a librarian in the ISSN Section. The Library of Congress includes the U.S. ISSN Center that is responsible for assigning International Standard Serial Numbers (ISSN) to serials published in the United States. Day to day in the ISSN Section of the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division (USPRLL), I assign ISSN and catalog serials and other continuing resources, communicate with publishers, CONSER and international ISSN Network librarians, and other organizations seeking an ISSN assignment for a U.S.-based magazine, journal, database, etc.

What are some of your tasks as part of the CCDI team?

I have experience in project management, so I am contributing to the Initiative by creating and organizing documentation related to the CCDI, such as instructional material for our panel review volunteers. I’ve spent a good portion of my detail revamping our shared online workspaces to make them more efficient for CCDI staff and Library staff interested in collaborating with the initiative. A lot of that planning was theoretical, but in practice, some aspects have required tweaking as we learn how we actually use the workspaces, so it’s an ongoing task. For the remaining portion of my detail, I will be working on compiling resources that may serve as a starting point for grant applicants, as well as assisting with other behind the scenes tasks and meetings.

Photograph shows Rosa Rolanda, a Mexican American, female, artist, photographer, dancer, choreographer, and wife of Miguel Covarrubias in front of patterned backdrop.

Portrait of Rose Covarrubias. Carl Van Vechten, photographer. 1932. Carl Van Vechten Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

What interested you about working with the CCDI?

LC’s collections are so vast that a new user may not find it easy to identify the gems about and by BIPOC creators. This is similar to the situation at other research libraries across the country. A new researcher can feel like they looking for a needle in a haystack, without knowing what the needle looks like in the first place. Initiatives like the CCDI are one response to this issue, and when there was an opportunity to be part of it, I knew I wanted to contribute, even if for a short period. I look forward to seeing what the CCDI grantees find in LC’s digital collection and what they do with it in their projects.

What has been the most interesting resource or information you’ve come across during your detail?

I have been a casual photographer for over 20 years with a strong interest in portraits, so I love seeing what photographs the Library has digitized. A few photos I particularly like from LC’s collection include a photo of a barbershop in Los Angeles in the 1990s, a photo series from 1977 Chicago, a portrait of New York Renaissance basketball team founder Robert Douglas with his cat, and a portrait of Mexican-American dancer and artist Rosa Rolanda.

As far as other digital resources, I love the webcomic archive, and all the cat pictures, like Brünnhilde. It’s a fun reminder that human obsession with animals in costume long predates the internet.

What is something your coworkers might not know about you?

I am currently reading the Garfield comic strip archive. There are over 15,900 strips, and the number keeps growing. If I stick to my reading schedule, it will take about 18 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to Of the People: Widening the Path blog — it’s free! — and the largest library in world history will send cool stories straight to your inbox.

Explore also

Of the People: Widening the Path program website For more information on the Of the People program.

Connecting Communities Digital Initiative page To learn more about the different grant opportunities. 

Library of Congress Digital Collections The largest online collection of Library materials with over 1 million items. You will find resources about American history, world cultures, folklife, art, architecture, science, performing arts, among many other topics.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog These materials are also in the Digital Collections, but here you can narrow your search on items specifically to photographs and posters.

Library of Congress Research Guides Library’s guides organized by research topic and collections – these include both online materials, and materials only available on site.

Library of Congress StoryMaps Multimedia storytelling publications on Library’s materials that can include rare books, photographs, audio recordings, music, maps, and more. Some of these StoryMaps include materials in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and Nahuatl.

Classroom Materials at the Library These are organized primary source collections of online materials that are often paired with teaching and student guides.

Blog Round-up: AHHA Fall 2021

This is a guest post by Diana Gibbs, program manager for the Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) Internship program.   The Archives, History and Heritage Advanced (AHHA) Internship program wrapped up its Fall season in November 2021. The cozy cohort of 14 remote interns worked on the Library’s digital collections and wrote blog posts and […]

Connecting the Dots with Baseball and Library Online Resources

We hear you! After learning that applicants for CCDI opportunities want to know more about the Library digital collections and how to navigate our website, this post is one in a series of blog posts designed to highlight our various online resources.

What follows is a visual journey of how I was browsing the Library’s digital collections, discovered the By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights, 1860s-1960s collection, found a photo of Cuban-born U.S. major league baseball player Armando Marsans, and began to explore the myriad of resources that emerged.

I knew about the Chronicling America website so Marsan’s image led me to research the collection. This is another resource that provides access to historic newspapers and allows you to select digitized newspaper pages. If you search ‘Armando Marsans,’ you will get 685 results containing his name and a wealth of information about this historical period. Marsans is believed to have left Cuba just before the Spanish-American War in 1898. We invite you to discover sources related to this period within these newspapers collection as well. And if you want to research more about Cuba this guide prepared by librarians of the Hispanic Reading Room is great start.

As I continued the research, I thought of searching the Prints and Photographs online catalog. I discovered more images about Armando Marsans, like the one below of his baseball card portrait, part of the Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

Armando Marsans, Cincinnati Reds, baseball card portrait (1912)

Searching the main Library’s website resulted in finding the exhibition Baseball Americana (2018-2019). The physical exhibition has now ended but you can still explore the materials here. It includes a section of “Cubans in the Majors” with many useful resources.

I also found classroom materials about baseball. You will find primary sources sets and a teacher’s guide in the online presentation Baseball Across a Changing Nation.

Also, you can view, César Brioso discussing his book, “Havana Hardball: Spring Training, Jackie Robinson, and The Cuban League,” which captures the excitement of the Cuban League’s greatest pennant race and the anticipation of the looming challenge to Major League Baseball’s whites only policy. You can watch the recording of his 2016 presentation here.

Finally, LC Labs, a program that supports the digital transformation at the Library, developed two cool experiments about baseball. Mapping an American Pastime lets you explore baseball collections from the Library and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The other experiment, Library of Congress Colors, lets you discover the Library’s collections through color with this application by Laura Wrubel. Choose the collection “Baseball cards” and browse it by colors.

As you can see all these items narrate a deeper history about baseball in the United States. We leave you now to explore our digital collections with your hands full.

As a tip, refining your results is a good strategy when researching topics such as this one. Also, keep in mind the vocabulary used in the historical period you want to learn more about. All searches can be narrowed down by adding filters to your search. You can limit searches with different options, for example: Original Format, Date, Location, Online Format, and Language. In this video, former Library of Congress interns describe ways to access materials online, and this research guide explains several search strategies to explore our collections.

Until the next post! 👋🏽

Subscribe to Of the People: Widening the Path blog — it’s free! — and the largest library in world history will send cool stories straight to your inbox.

Explore also

Of the People: Widening the Path program website For more information on the Of the People program.

Connecting Communities Digital Initiative page To learn more about the different grant opportunities. 

Library of Congress Digital Collections The largest online collection of Library materials with over 1 million items. You will find resources about American history, world cultures, folklife, art, architecture, science, performing arts, among many other topics.

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog These materials are also in the Digital Collections, but here you can narrow your search on items specifically to photographs and posters.

Library of Congress Research Guides Library’s guides organized by research topic and collections – these include both online materials, and materials only available on site.

Library of Congress StoryMaps Multimedia storytelling publications on Library’s materials that can include rare books, photographs, audio recordings, music, maps, and more. Some of these StoryMaps include materials in other languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, and Nahuatl.

Classroom Materials at the Library These are organized primary source collections of online materials that are often paired with teaching and student guides.

Read more »

Blog Round-up: Junior Fellows Program 2021

The 2021 Junior Fellows were busy for every minute of the ten weeks of their intensive summer internships, and below, you’ll find the blog posts that they wrote during their brief time in the program. On top of their project work and the many blogs they published, the Fellows produced videos and infographics to showcase […]

New Website Available for Of the People: Widening the Path

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the website for Of the People: Widening the Path which can be accessed at loc.gov/of-the-people  The new site serves as the online home for the Library’s multi-year initiative that creates new opportunities for more Americans to engage with the Library of Congress and to add their perspectives […]

Now Hiring! Program Specialist, Connecting Communities Digital Initiative

We’re excited to announce that the Library is now accepting applications for a program specialist to join the team in the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI). This position will report to the incoming program director of the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative, when they are hired. The person in this position will be an important part […]

Connecting Communities Digital Initiative – Artist or Scholar in Residence Grant

The Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI) Artist or Scholar in Residence program will fund an Artist in Residence or a Scholar in Residence in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Each Artist/Scholar in Residence will serve for 2 years, supported for $50,000 in their first year and $100,000 in their second year. Individuals selected will be either artists or scholars whose artistic or scholarly work connects with the intersections of technology and cultural heritage, and engages with the legacies of racial division in the United States. Proposed projects will help the Library and the American people imagine new ways of preserving, accessing, and sharing the stories of underserved communities, connecting the nation’s past to its future.