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]

Finding By the People Transcriptions in the Library’s Digital Collections

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Victoria Van Hyning, who served as a By the People Community Manager at the Library from 2018-2020. Starting in Fall 2020, she will be an Assistant Professor of Library Innovation at the University of Maryland iSchool, where she will continue her research on crowdsourcing, outreach, and inclusion.   The […]

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Newspaper Navigator Surfaces Treasure Trove of Historic Images – Get a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Data Jam!

Projects like Newspaper Navigator are busy unlocking even more digital content for members of the public to access from home. On May 7th at 2pm EST, Innovator in Residence Ben Lee will host a virtual data jam to experiment and play with thousands of images—including maps, advertisements, comics, and more!—from historical newspapers dating to the 1800s. In this post, Ben discusses his aspirations for engaging the American public with the millions of images he extracted from  Chronicling America.

New Collaboration between LC Labs, British Library, and the Zooniverse

Announcing preliminary details for Arts & Humanities Research Council UK-US Partnership Development Grant awarded jointly to the the British Library, the Zooniverse, and the Library of Congress. The project is titled “From crowdsourcing to digitally-enabled participation: the state of the art in collaboration, access, and inclusion for cultural heritage institutions.” Several opportunities to participate are described.

LC Labs Letter: December 2019

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Celebrating a year with By the People

Celebrating the 1 year anniversary of By the People, the Library of Congress crowdsourcing platform that engages volunteers to explore and connect to Library of Congress collections while enhancing searchability, readability, and research use of digitized collections. In the last year over 11,000 volunteers have registered and even more have contributed anonymously to complete transcription of over 31,000 digital collection pages, with 55,000 awaiting peer review.

Announcing International Collaborations on Digital Scholarship in Cultural Institutions

The following is an announcement from funding and cultural organizations from the United States and the United Kingdom about a new collaboration supporting digital scholarship.  The Library of Congress Labs team is co-hosting a workshop to kick-off international collaborations around digital scholarship. Partners in the UK and the US are coming together to collaborate on the […]