LC Labs Letter: April 2020


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

Editor’s Note

As it did for many people across the country and all over the world, the month of March brought new ways of working and communicating and challenging, complex circumstances for the LC Labs team. We found our way through that time by setting out to discover even more ways our work can be useful and relevant to our colleagues and to all users of the digital Library of Congress.

This April edition of the newsletter will feature a round-up of interesting blog posts, announcements, and publications as well as a list of things you can do or read remotely during this time when the “digital” is coming to define so much of our professional and personal lives. We hope you find it interesting!

If you have responses or questions to share, as always, feel free to reach out to us directly at [email protected]!

-Eileen Jakeway

Things to Do

Get a sneak peek of all the historic images contained in Chronicling America

Although Library buildings are closed to the public, projects like Newspaper Navigator are busy unlocking even more digital content for members of the public to access from home!

At 2 pm on May 7, Innovator in Residence Ben Lee will host a virtual data jam to explore, research, and play with hundreds of images—including maps, advertisements, comics, and more!—from historical newspapers dating all the way back to the 1800s.

Register to participate remotely and find more details about how to call in. To read more about the project and how Ben extracted all the visual content from more than 16 MILLION pages of historical newspapers, check out this blog post from the Signal.

Learn more about the Innovator in Residence program and Ben’s project here //

A New Experience
We’ve updated! Let us know what you think.

Things to Read

From LC Labs

Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group Report
In April, the Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group Report was released to the public for the first time. This report, authored by the Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group in 2017, details case studies of current practices for supporting digital scholarship and unmet demand. The report also outlines three major recommendations to expand support for digital scholarship at the Library of Congress, which are to invest in collection readiness, build institutional capacity, and expand user services. For further context about this report and the context of the Library of Congress see Abbey’s blog post on the Signal.

Download the report from the LC Labs website! //

The Latest from the Signal blog:

From across the Library of Congress:

For teachers:
Here are some resources that may help you as you plan for remote learning:

For researchers:

For the curious:

Note: this blog post was updated with a revised link on May 5, 2020.

Digital Scholarship Working Group Report: Published!

Digital scholarship takes advantage of the availability of digital collections and a changing landscape of tools, resources and methodologies to produce new forms of research and engagement. Digital scholarship projects and centers are common at research universities. They serve faculty and student needs by supporting digital skill development and sharing best practices in digital research […]

Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Quarterly Update

This is a guest post from LC Labs Senior Innovation Specialist Laurie Allen. This is the second post in a series where we are sharing experiences from the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud. The series began with an introductory post.  Learn about the grant on the experiments page, and see the […]

LC Labs Letter January 2020

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team The Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Project is HIRING! Come join the Mellon-funded Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Project as one of two digital scholarship specialists! The positions will be funded for three years and will […]

Introducing the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Project

With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the LC Labs team will pilot ways to combine cutting edge technology and the collections of the largest library in the world, to support creative new uses of collections. This project will explore service models to support researchers accessing Library of Congress collections in the cloud, with findings shared throughout the 2 year project.

Inside, Inside Baseball: A Look at the Construction of the Dataset Featuring the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Library of Congress Digital Collections

This is a guest blog post by visiting scholar archivist Julia Hickey who is on a professional development assignment from the Defense Media Activity to the Library of Congress Labs team. Julia has been helping us prepare for and build out a visualization of collection data for our Inside Baseball event. This post was also […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: Tools for Spatial Analysis (part 5 of 7)

This is part five in a seven part resource guide for digital scholarship by Samantha Herron, our 2017 Junior Fellow. Part one is available here, part two about making digital documents is here, part three is about tools to work with data, part four is all about doing text analysis, and today’s post is focused on spatial analysis. The full […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: So now you have digital data… (part 3 of 7)

This is part three of our Digital Scholarship Research Guide created by Samantha Herron. See parts one about digital scholarship projects and two about how to create digital documents. So now you have digital data… Great! But what to do? Regardless of what your data are (sometimes it’s just pictures and documents and notes, sometimes […]

From Code to Colors: Working with the JSON API

The following is a guest post by Laura Wrubel, software development librarian with George Washington University Libraries, who has joined the Library of Congress Labs team during her research leave. The Library of Congress website has an API ( “application programming interface”) which delivers the content for each web page. What’s kind of exciting is […]

Digital Scholarship Resource Guide: Making Digital Resources, Part 2 of 7

This is part two in a seven part resource guide for digital scholarship by Samantha Herron, our 2017 Junior Fellow. Part one is available here, and the full guide is available as a PDF download.  Creating Digital Documents The first step in creating an electronic copy of an analog (non-digital) document is usually scanning it […]