Tag Archives: LOC

Acting Law Librarian of Congress Roberta Shaffer Discusses Harvard’s Free the Law Project

“We here at the Law Library of Congress are excited to learn that the Harvard Law School Library and the legal research platform, Ravel, are teaming up to scan and make available online 40 million pages of American caselaw from Harvard’s vast collection. The best part is that this content will be made freely available, allowing public interest attorneys to reduce the costs associated with legal research and empowering civically engaged citizens and students to explore the inner-workings of the American judicial system. The database containing the cases will initially be made available to non-profits and scholars so they can use it to develop apps., and after eight years, the database “will be available to anyone for any purpose.” (via LOC)

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Hudson Institute Releases White Paper on Copyright Office Reform

“Hudson Institute has just released A 21st Century Copyright Office: The Conservative Case for Reform, a white paper that articulates the case for granting the U.S. Copyright Office autonomy from the Library of Congress. A 21st Century Copyright Office examines the constitutional issues surrounding the Copyright Office’s function within the Library, reviews the history of the American copyright system, and considers the policy choices for how best to structure the Copyright Office to adequately serve consumers, innovators, creators and users.” (via PR Newswire)

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Now over 1,000,000 Items to Search on Congress.gov: Communications and More Added

“This has been a great year as we continue our push to develop and refine Congress.gov. There were email alerts added in February, treaties and better default text in March, the Federalist Papers and more browse options in May, and accessibility and user requested features in July. With this October update, Senate Executive Communications from THOMAS have migrated to Congress.gov. There is an About Executive Communications page that provides more detail about the scope of coverage, searching, viewing, and obtaining copies.” (via In Custodia Legis)

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The Next Librarian of Congress Should Be an Actual Librarian

“Most Americans probably weren’t aware that James H. Billington, who had served as Librarian of Congress for the past 28 years, resigned his position at the venerable institution on September 30. A Reagan appointee, Billington came into office before the advent of the World Wide Web and the sweeping changes of the information age. While Billington was a brilliant fundraiser who made vital contributions to the Library of Congress, his tenure was marred by significant mismanagement, for which he was criticized by a number of government watchdogs including a scathing report from the Government Accountability Office in March.” (via New Republic)

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Why Silicon Valley cares so much about who will lead the Library of Congress

“In 2012, the Library of Congress issued an unusual decision, ruling that cellphone unlocking – the process of moving a phone over to a different carrier instead of remaining on a fixed contract – would now be a violation of US copyright law. The storied institution isn’t usually noted for its technology policy, instead primarily focusing on the nation’s cultural history and on serving members of Congress. But the ruling, granted by the library’s broad oversight over copyright under the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, rankled many cellphone users, prompting a sharp rebuke from some members of Congress and the Obama administration, which eventually reversed the decision two years later.” (via CSM)

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Copyright Office’s online registration hasn’t worked for almost a week

“The U.S. Copyright Office’s electronic registration system has been down since Friday, costing the office an estimated $650,000 in lost fees and causing headaches for approximately 12,000 customers. The outage is part of a bigger computer failure at the Library of Congress, the federal agency that oversees the national library, provides Congress with research advice and operates the Copyright Office, a major player in the global digital economy.” (via Washington Post)

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Many Choices for Obama in Replacing Billington at Library of Congress

“Only 10 presidents have had the opportunity to nominate a librarian of Congress to oversee America’s largest trove of intellectual treasures and to serve as the chief of the sprawling research institution for the nation’s lawmakers. And after President Obama replaces James H. Billington, who has held the job for 28 years, it may be a generation before it happens again.” (via NYT)

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A Long Way From Wax Cylinders, Library Of Congress Slowly Joins The Digital Age

“Gene DeAnna sits at a computer next to a vintage victrola, appropriate for his job as curator of the National Jukebox project. It’s an online collection of some 10,000 pre-1925 recordings, made acoustically, without any electrical amplification. DeAnna points to a photo on the jukebox’s webpage.”You can see in this picture here that they gathered the orchestra around a great big recording horn and behind the curtain there is a cutter that is cutting the recording into a wax master,” he said.And 90 years later, these primitive recordings can be heard right on your laptop with a few mouse clicks.” (via NPR)

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Library of Congress Begins Posting Its Recorded Poetry Archive

“To celebrate National Poetry Month, the Library of Congress has posted online some 50 recordings from its Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, including readings and lectures by Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Czeslaw Milosz and Paul Muldoon.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Library of Congress: the Unexpected Diplomat

“One doesn’t typically expect terrorism to become a topic of discussion at hearing about library funding. But that’s exactly what happened on March 17, as the Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee assessed the budget requests of the Library of Congress and the Architect of the Capitol. “You’re the world’s resource and we’ve been reading the news reports of ISIS members destroying artifacts of ancient civilizations,” the panel’s chairwoman, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, said to Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, teeing up a question about a little-known aspect of the Library of Congress.” (via Roll Call)

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