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Library of Congress

  • Originally published 06/11/2015

    Library of Congress Chief Retires Under Fire

    The move comes after the library’s leader, James H. Billington, presided over a series of management and technology failures documented by government watchdog agencies.

  • Originally published 12/03/2014

    The Great Paper Caper

    Jill Lepore

    Someone swiped Justice Frankfurter’s papers. What else has gone missing?

  • Originally published 05/20/2014

    The Library of Congress Civil Rights History Project

    Mark Hartsell

    The database, the first of its kind, makes available to researchers information about civil rights oral-history collections at public libraries, museums, universities and historical societies in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Originally published 07/31/2013

    Library of Congress races to preserve TV history

    (CBS News) CULPEPER, Va. -- There are moments that define America, and the record of many of them are stored in a vault in Culpeper, Va.But these videotapes, some 50 years old, are deteriorating, and there is a race to preserve the history they contain."I think an important thing is to capture people's memories, to take people back to the day when they first saw Carol Burnett tug on her ear, or the day when Walter Cronkite couldn't hardly finish his sentence in November 1963, when Kennedy was shot," says Rob Stone, the Moving Image Curator of the Library of Congress....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    Pink Floyd added to National Recording Registry

    Forty years after its release, Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking album “The Dark Side of the Moon” has found a permanent home in the United States Library of Congress. The prog rock opus is one of 25 recordings being added to the National Recording Registry, the Library announced today.Since 2000, the Library has been tasked by Congress with building a registry of sound recordings that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” to American society and at least a decade old. The 350 recordings already in the registry span the gamut of the aural experience, from an 1888 recording of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” made for a children’s doll by Thomas Edison to “Dear Mama,” a 1995 release by hip-hop star Tupac Shakur. This year’s new additions also include “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, the soundtrack to the film Saturday Night Fever and a broadcast near the shores of Normandy on D-Day by radio correspondent George Hicks. A similar registry was established for film in 1989....

  • Originally published 03/26/2013

    LoC historian publishes history of Renaissance man who named America

    A DECADE AGO, the Library of Congress paid $10 million to acquire the only known original copy of a 1507 world map that has been called “the birth certificate of America.” The large map, a masterpiece of woodblock printing, has been a star attraction at the library ever since and the object of revived scholarly fascination about the earliest cartography of the New World. The research has also rescued from obscurity a little-known Renaissance man, the 16th-century globe maker Johannes Schöner, who was responsible for saving the map for posterity.Five years ago, John W. Hessler, a historian of cartography at the library, published “The Naming of America,” an account of the map’s importance in post-Ptolemy geography, its disappearance for centuries and its rediscovery in a castle near the Black Forest in southwestern Germany. Now, Dr. Hessler has dug deeper into the dynamic of the years between Columbus, in 1492, and Copernicus, in 1543. Science and exploration were stretching minds to distant horizons, once unknown. Copernican astronomy was about to dislodge Earth from the center of the universe, a start to the Scientific Revolution.

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Plan to save America’s audio history

    The Library of Congress is sharing its National Recording Preservation Plan on Wednesday, outlining its strategy for safeguarding America’s sound recordings for future generations of listeners.The congressionally mandated plan arrives after more than a decade of cooperation between the library and its National Recording Preservation Board, which includes composers, musicians, archivists, librarians, musicologists and other figures in the recording industry.“As a nation, we have good reason to be proud of our record of creativity in the sound-recording arts and sciences,” James H. Billington, librarian of Congress, said in a statement. “However, our collective energy in creating and consuming sound recordings has not been matched by an equal level of interest in preserving them for posterity.”...

  • Originally published 06/02/2017

    The Rabbi Who Captured a Town Alone

    Gil Troy

    Shlomo Goren was the Israeli Army’s first chief rabbi—and in one of Israel’s defining moments gave it the spiritual strength to reverse what looked to be a devastating loss.