LC Labs Letter: July 2021

July 2021

A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Our Projects

LC Labs publishes “Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Research Guide”

Have you ever wanted to use digital Library of Congress materials but weren’t quite sure where to start? Well then, we have just the guide for you!

LC Labs brought together an interdisciplinary team from across the Library to write a Digital Scholarship Research Guide to the Library of Congress, which can be found on

The guide is written for anyone who wants to use the Library digitally, including students, educators, researchers, family historians, creative artists, and/or community organizers. It includes information about all the different ways you can find digital Library of Congress resources, including searching, using the API, or bulk downloading datasets.

The authors of this guide also developed a series of tutorials and FAQs from Library patrons. We continue to update it with new materials as they become available and build additional tutorials to support deeper engagement with the Library’s data and digital offerings.

Discover more in the Digital Scholarship at the Library of Congress Research Guide. If you have questions, please contact [email protected]


Crowdsourcing Cultural Heritage: community review of the “Collective Wisdom Handbook” ends August 9, 2021

The team behind The Collective Wisdom Handbook: Perspectives on Crowdsourcing in Cultural Heritage wants your help! LC Labs’ Meghan Ferriter teamed up with expert researchers from the British Library, digital research platform Zooniverse and more to write a practical guide for designing and implementing crowdsourcing projects in cultural heritage settings such as libraries, museums, and archives.

Aligned with the goals of broadening a network of practitioners, the authors are inviting comments, suggested example projects, and case studies, or additional insights about crowdsourcing and citizen science initiatives. This period of community review ends on August 9, 2021 so don’t miss it!

Finally, if you’re interested in both crowdsourcing and cultural heritage, mark your calendars for the next Collective Wisdom event: a virtual workshop on digitally enabled participation at cultural institutions on October 20-22, 2021.


National Council of Teachers of English features Speculative Annotation in “summer sandbox” series

From July 14 to August 4, 2021, the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) will host a series of events that explore annotation practices through different lenses. The series kicked off on July 14 featuring a lecture on Historic Annotation by Library of Congress Curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection and Aramont Library Stephanie Stillo and will continue on a weekly basis every Wednesday from 4:00–5:30 pm until August 4, 2021.

Each of the sessions–on historic annotation, creative annotation, civic annotation, and disciplinary annotation–demonstrate possible ways to use the Speculative Annotation experiment to foster creativity and facilitate critical thinking.

Learn more and register directly on NCTE’s website.



  • Improve By the People by taking this 10-minute survey by August 13. The By the People team will use your responses to improve program offerings, website features, and communication with volunteers.
  • New derivative datasets on LC for Robots! LC Labs partnered with the Web Archives team to make available a series of datasets describing the United States Elections Web Archives. The datasets contain information about various campaign sites archived weekly during United States election seasons since 2000, such as those associated with presidential, congressional, and gubernatorial elections. Share what you make of these datasets with @LC_Labs.
  • Citizen DJ continues! Partners from last summer’s National Book Festival continue to use the tool for their music education programming.


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Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]

Newspaper Navigator Search Application Now Live!

On September 15, 2020, the Library of Congress announced the release of Newspaper Navigator, an experimental web application which makes 1.5 million photographs from the dataset from Chronicling America available to the public to explore for the first time. Read more about the design and features of the project below or jump straight to the newly launched application at // !

Innovator Brian Foo Incorporates “Citizen DJs” into Design Process

The following is a guest post by Innovator in Residence Brian Foo, creator of Citizen DJ. The Citizen DJ project invites the public to make music using the free-to-use audio and video collections from the Library of Congress. The project will feature online tools for exploring and remixing tens of thousands of sounds from a variety of collections ranging from music to government film to oral histories. 

Library’s Collections Come to Life as 3D Models

The 3D Digital Modeling, Imaging, and Printing Working Group was created to explore the use of 3D technologies to expand access to the Library’s collections. In Fall 2019, the working group launched a pilot in which a limited selection of items from the online collections were 3D scanned and the 3D models made publicly available. In […]

LC Labs Letter: December 2019

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Women’s History Month Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

This is a guest post from Sarah Osborne Bender, Director of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. I graduated from library school in 2001, just months after Wikipedia was launched. So as a freshly minted information professional, it is no surprise that I fell […]

Digital Content and Digital Preservation at The Henry Ford

At the Museum is an interview series highlighting the variety of digital collections in museums and the interesting people working to create and preserve these collections. For this installment I interviewed Ellice Engdahl, Digital Collections & Content Manager, and Brian Wilson, Digital Access and Preservation Archivist, at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Sue: Tell us […]

At the Museum: An Interview with Marla Misunas (and Friends) of SFMOMA, Pt. Two

We are continuing the previous interview with Marla Misunas of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, this time including two of her colleagues:  Layna White, Head of Collections Information and Access at SFMOMA, and Mark Hellar, consultant and owner of Hellar Studios LLC. Mark is currently working on new media conservation initiatives at SFMOMA, including […]