LC Labs Letter January 2020


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 assist four teams of researchers with accessing research collections through the cloud.

Apply here by January 31, 2020!

Connecting Collections as Data Conference & Call for Participation

SAVE THE DATE! May 4-6, 2020, LC Labs will host ‘Connecting Collections as Data: Transforming Communities, Sharing Knowledge, and Building Networks with International GLAM Labs.

LC Labs will host the International GLAM Labs network in North America for the first time to connect with the active Collections as Data and digital scholarship communities in the U.S. The meeting will be an opportunity  for participants to exchange strategies and methods for developing innovative services for diverse and varied audiences,  and to discuss the role of cultural heritage and research organizations in advancing digital transformation.

Brief proposals are sought from individuals and groups who are interested in contributing to the program. Submission will be accepted for: 1) 10 minute lighting talks (that may be grouped into themes), 2) panel proposals that address a single theme with 3 to 4 speakers and a facilitator, or 3) full or half day workshops, datathons, or other hands-on working session. Submit your proposal here by January 31, 2020.

LOC 3D: Library Collections Come to Life as 3D models!

Two physical objects from the Library of Congress collections are now available online as 3D models. See them for yourself here!

These models were created by staff from across the Library as part of a pilot to test the use of making 3D collections available to users. Staff were trained in photogrammetry, one of the technologies that makes web-viewable, digital models. In this blog post, Labs member Eileen talks more about learning these skills and being part of this diverse and cross-functional Library squad.

Please share this experiment widely and reach out to provide your feedback and/or user stories via email at [email protected].

2019 in Review

In this blog post on the Signal, Program Advisor Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal reflects on the Digital Strategy Directorate’s accomplishments in 2019. Highlights include introducing a new cohort of the Innovator in Residence program, winning a $1 million grant to test new modes of collection access, experimenting with the use of machine learning, and graduating By the People from an experiment to a program.


  • While in residence at the Kluge Center, Dr. Patrick Egan combined his background in technology and passion for Irish folk music in a digital humanities project that applied linked data approaches to the Irish traditional music materials at the American Folklife Center (AFC). Patrick shares about his process of undertaking this interdisciplinary work in this blog post.


  • The Library of Congress has named Jason Reynolds as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Learn more about him and his work in this Library of Congress resource guide.


Kate’s Corner
Notes from the Director of Digital Strategy

It’s New Year’s resolution time, a concept that I have never loved, since the resolutions seem to 1. not work, and 2. make people inspect only the things they don’t like about themselves.

This year, I’m instead focusing on habit and systems; you know, the slow and steadfast friends that gently lead you to brush your teeth and remind you of loved-ones’ birthdays, even after their buddies willpower and grit have over-trained at the gym and fallen asleep on the couch. My goals this year are to live healthier and connect more with colleagues and loved ones. I’ve enjoyed spending much of January thinking about ways to smooth my path. For example, to cook all of my veggies during the weekend for easy weekday meal making and scheduling coffee with folks in advance.

In the same way that I love caring for and helping other people, I can find pleasure in current Kate taking care of future Kate. I wish you the best luck in living your most happy and fulfilling life this year.

-Kate Zwaard


Digital Strategy Year in Review

This is a guest post by Leah Weinryb-Grohsgal from the Digital Strategy Directorate. Leah outlines below some of the major milestones reached by the Directorate in 2019. Looking Back and Looking Forward Exciting changes are afoot for digital transformation at the Library of Congress!  This post reviews some of the things we did last year […]

LC Labs Letter: December 2019

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team Keeping up with the Innovators This month, Brian Foo and Ben Lee came back to the Library to gather feedback from staff in the early stages of their project and to showcase working prototypes. Brian presented his project […]

Born to Be 3D: Born-Digital Data Stewardship

Today’s post is from Jesse Johnston and Jon Sweitzer-Lamme. Jon is the Librarian in Residence at The Library of Congress’ Preservation Directorate. He is a 2017 graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s iSchool, receiving a MSLIS with a minor in Museum Studies and a certificate in Special Collections. On November 2, the Library hosted […]

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 […]

Librarians learn about personal archiving at the Library of Congress

On April 16th and 17th, National Digital Initiatives in partnership with DC Public Library hosted the Memory Lab Network Bootcamp at the Library of Congress. The Memory Lab Network – a cohort of 7 urban, rural, and tribal library systems – will build digitization stations and teach classes through an IMLS grant to support personal […]

Announcing Judging Panel for the Congressional Data Challenge

Today we’re announcing the notable panel of judges who will select the winners of the Library’s ongoing Congressional Data Challenge: a competition asking participants to leverage legislative data sets on and other platforms to develop digital projects that analyze, interpret or share congressional data in user-friendly ways. The four-person panel, composed of experts in data visualization, application development, […]

Announcing the Library of Congress Congressional Data Challenge

Today we launch a Congressional Data Challenge, a competition asking participants to leverage legislative data sets on and other platforms to develop digital projects that analyze, interpret or share congressional data in user-friendly ways. “There is so much information now available online about our legislative process, and that is a great thing,” said Librarian […]

DC History For All: Volunteer Fair Event Summary

On Saturday, 23 September 2017, the LC Labs team joined representatives from cultural heritage organizations, archives, libraries, and historical organizations for DC History for All: Volunteer Fair. The event matched dozens of interested volunteers with opportunities to preserve Washington, D.C. history. There are many cultural heritage and historical organizations located in D.C. that invite the […]