Interested in learning more about what’s new in the Library of Congress’ digital collections? The Signal now shares out semi-regularly about new additions to publicly-available digital collections and we can’t wait to show off all the hard work from our colleagues from across the Library. Read on for a sample of what’s been added recently and some of our favorite highlights. Visit here for previous updates.
What’s new on loc.gov?
The Manuscript Division has recently released the Shippen Family Papers, a collection of 6,500 items (15,666 images) digitized from 15 reels of previously produced microfilm, which document this wealthy and powerful group of Philadelphians connected by blood and marriage who reached the height of their influence in the mid-eighteenth century. The Shippens were merchants, doctors, lawyers, and landowners, who held offices in Pennsylvania’s colonial government and were connected by marriage to other influential colonial families, including the Livingstons of New York and the Lees of Virginia. The papers chiefly concern the family of William Shippen Jr. and consist of correspondence, diaries, account books, estate papers, and business, financial, and real estate papers, including maps and deeds. They reflect the family’s experiences during the Revolutionary War, their participation in the Philadelphia social circle that surrounded George Washington during his presidency, and the family’s engagement with national politics. The collection is notable for its documentation of the lives of women family members through diaries, letters, and such ephemera as embroidery patterns.
The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve collection consists of interviews and photographs by Mary Hufford and Tom Tankersley in December 1985 for the American Folklife Center, comprising part of the preliminary fieldwork for a proposed cooperative project with the National Park Service’s Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in southern Louisiana. The collection includes audio recordings of a tour of Plaquemines Parish; interviews regarding fur trapping; and tours of the Barataria Marsh with park staff. Photographs document a local cemetery, boats, waterways, traditional foods and housing, the preparation of nutria hides, Park Service staff, and aerial photographs of the Mississippi Delta. Manuscripts include descriptive logs and a final travel report written by Mary Hufford.
Collection updates and migrations
National Screening Room: To celebrate Juneteenth, NAVCC/MBRS digitized and made available two classic films: Caldonia (1945; starring Louis Jordan) and Of One Blood. Additionally, 11 films from the George Stevens Collection (World War II color footage) are now available.
Occupational Folklife Project: The following collections have been added to the Occupational Folklife Project online presentation in recent months: The Ransomville Speedway: Dirt Track Workers in Western New York and Cement workers in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley
The World Digital Library Dataset has been added to the Selected Datasets Collection! This LC-published dataset collects the metadata for all items from the World Digital Library (WDL) project in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish). All item records include narrative descriptions submitted by the contributing partners and enhanced by WDL researchers to contextualize the item and its cultural and historical importance. For additional context on the WDL collections, please click here.
New OA eBooks
Over 500 new open access titles added to the collection! Some highlights include books about films and cinema including The greatest films never seen: the film archive and the copyright smokescreen, The cinema of Mika Kaurismäki: transvergent cinescapes, emergent identities, and Filmische Poetiken der Schuld: die audiovisuelle Anklage der Sinne als Modalität des Gemeinschaftsempfindens.
And check out titles about different languages recently added to the collection, such as The Flamingo Bay dialect of the Asmat language, English and translation in the European Union: unity and multiplicity in the wake of Brexit, and Language, nation, race: linguistic reform in Meiji Japan (1868-1912).
New digitized books
So far this year, over 70,000 new digitized general collections books have been added to the Selected Digitized Books collection through the new digital content management platform, totaling over 18 million pages of content all with full searchable OCR text. Some highlights include Instructions for crochet work, Heller’s guide for ice-cream makers, Great cats I have met; adventures in two hemispheres, The Faery queen, first book, Card-sharpers, their tricks, exposed; or, The art of always winning, The busy beavers of Round-Top, Confessions of a palmist, and A library of wonders and curiosities found in nature and art, science and literature.
And some seasonal additions to the collection include Diary of a summer in Europe, 1865, Whoopee! the story of a Catholic summer camp, Brief summer rambles near Philadelphia, After icebergs with a painter: a summer voyage to Labrador and around Newfoundland, and How the “Fourth” was celebrated in 1911; facts gathered from special reports.
New crowdsourced transcriptions
The By the People crowdsourced transcription program recently added over 9,000 volunteer transcriptions into loc.gov, bringing the program’s lifetime total to over 132,000. These transcriptions now enable enhanced discoverability and accessibility of digital collections here at the Library. New transcriptions are now available for the following collections:
- William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection
- Legal Reports (Publications of the Law Library of Congress)
Additions to the Library’s Web Archives
The Web Archiving Team has added newly released content for 92 items on loc.gov. The archives coming out of embargo include additions to 28 collections and content spanning 22 countries and 18 languages. The new releases include content in government, political science, European studies, Latin American studies, law, journalism, public health, education, and more. A highlight this month is:
- The East European Government Ministries Web Archive added 19 new items. The archives includes websites of East European government ministries and agencies, which are primary sources for the study of all aspects of political, economic, and social life in the region. The collection includes content from eighteen countries: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
And a few more interesting finds include…
- East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention, addition to the Comics Literature and Criticism Web Archive
- Alice in the Pandemic: A Virtual Opera, addition to the Coronavirus Web Archive
- Migrant Zine Collective, addition to the Zine Web Archive
- Women in Music (WIM), addition to the Professional Organizations for Performing Arts Web Archive
Leave us any questions or comments below and keep an eye out for our next edition at the end of September!