Do Your Best and Remember . . .

My son is graduating from high school this coming weekend and I am feeling mixed emotions.

On the one hand, I am proud, excited, and looking forward to what the future holds. On the other hand, I feel the winds of change, and with them a bit of sadness and apprehension about what lies ahead.

At times like this, I take comfort in knowing that I am not the first person to feel this way. Connecting with primary sources always helps. (Seriously, it does.)

Blessed with “Sunshine on a Cloudy Day”

When I learned that Smokey Robinson would be the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, I was thrilled.

The Gershwin Prize honors a living musical artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences; and inspiring new generations.

Five Questions with Jennifer Cutting, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center

Folklife – songs, stories, jokes, crafts, and dances which have been handed down from generation to generation – are the unwritten history of the American people, and they help us understand what it is like to belong to a group, whether that group is a family, an ethnic group, a regional group, or a group of workers in the same occupation.

Five Questions with James Wintle, Reference Librarian, Performing Arts Reading Room

One of the biggest reasons I love working at the Library of Congress is that my curiosity is sparked on a daily basis. Most recently, I have been fascinated by the music manuscripts of the early American composer Anthony Philip Heinrich (1781-1861). He was one of the first professional composers in the United States and was known as the “Beethoven of America.”

Our Favorite Posts: Crossing the Delaware: General George Washington and Primary Sources

There’s nothing like primary sources to make you question your prior knowledge, and this blog post has several that surprise, spark interest, and make you want to learn more. Along with the suggested teaching activities, which are useful across most grade levels, these primary sources can help your students explore a famous historical event from several different perspectives including that of George Washington himself.

Crossing the Delaware: General George Washington and Primary Sources

When I’ve asked my students, “Would anyone be interested in a trip on a ferry?” they’ve all cheered with excitement. But I wonder how many of us would be brave enough to take a night voyage through an ice-clogged river on a boat battered by snow and high winds. Primary sources from the Library of Congress can let students explore this momentous–and shivery–event.