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.


To subscribe to the monthly LC Labs Letter, visit //

For more information about LC Labs, visit us at

Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]

Developing a New Digital Collections Strategy at the Nation’s Library

Today’s guest post is from Joe Puccio, Collection Development Officer at the Library of Congress. Tremendous progress has been made by the Library of Congress in acquiring born-digital content as part of a coordinated strategy presented in its 2017 Digital Collecting Plan and previously reported in the Signal. With that plan now in its fifth […]

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 // !

Citizen DJ at the virtual National Book Festival

This post was originally featured on the Minerva’s Kaleidoscope blog for kids and families. We’re excited and grateful to be able to re-share about this opportunity to experience Citizen DJ at the virtual National Book Festival next week!

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. 

More Open eBooks: Routinizing Open Access eBook Workflows

This is a guest post by Kristy Darby, a Digital Collections Specialist in the Digital Content Management Section in Library Services. We are excited to share that anyone anywhere can now access a growing online collection of contemporary open access eBooks from the Library of Congress website. For example, you can now directly access books […]