Poet Laureate Joy Harjo Visits the Prints & Photographs Reading Room

A version of the following post by Katherine Blood and Melissa Lindberg originally appeared in the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center’s “From the Catbird Seat” blog as part of a series discussing Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s visits to several Library of Congress reading rooms. We were excited by the news that Joy Harjo […]

A Trio of Literary Ladies: Artist’s Descendants Donate Drawings

Fancy, Romance, and Tragedy. They sound like the plot points for a romantic tearjerker, but they are in fact the titles of three drawings recently donated to the Prints and Photographs Division by the family of the artist, George Randolph Barse, Jr. Barse was one of nearly 40 artists and sculptors charged with decorating the […]

Breathing Life into the Day of the Dead: the Calaveras of José Guadalupe Posada

The calavera, or skull, is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican celebration of the dead that has both Indigenous and Spanish Catholic roots. The Prints and Photographs Division holds a treasure-trove of prints by eminent Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913). Posada helped […]

Summer Looking Challenge–Touring the Collections with Azure Allure

As summer gets into full swing, I’m recalling how much I enjoyed my public library’s summer reading club challenges when my children were younger (shout-out to all the public libraries that run summer reading clubs for children and adults!). One thing I loved about the challenge was the “randomizer” techniques library staff designed to inspire […]

O Say Can You See

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? The lengthy title of John Bower’s famous print [below] depicting the 1814 British bombardment at Fort McHenry both describes the scene portrayed and provides a tidy summary of the sustained barrage: “A view of the […]

Sanctuary for Birds—A Remarkable Pageant’s 100th Anniversary

The following is a guest post by Donna Lacy Collins, Photo Preservation Specialist, Prints & Photographs Division. An exciting part of working with the Library’s collections is finding unexpected and curious images. When I discovered this picture in the Arnold Genthe archive of photographic negatives, labeled simply “Cornish bird masque,” I knew I had to […]

Life was Made for Love and Cheer: National Poetry Month

When each heart gives out its best, Then the talk is full of zest: Light your fire and never fear, Life was made for love and cheer. (Henry Van Dyke, “Inscriptions for a Friend’s House”) When American illustrator Elizabeth Shippen Green created a watercolor painting to accompany Henry Van Dyke’s “Inscriptions for a Friend’s House,” […]

Robert Burns Day: Haggis, Anyone?

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” (Robert Burns, Address To A Haggis) I hope you’ve already begun preparing your Burns Supper, because today is Robert Burns Day, and it takes several hours to make a proper haggis! If the prospect of dinner cooked in a sheep’s stomach does not appeal, […]