Tag Archives: LOC

In a kingdom of books, nation’s librarian champions digital age

“For more than 25 years, Billington has been the librarian of Congress, a title that sounds rarefied, which, in fact, it is; only a dozen others have held the post since the library began in 1800. In the age of the Internet, it also might sound somewhat dated. Yet the 85-year-old scholar has been one of the country’s most aggressive advocates, moving the resources of the library online and expanding its educational outreach through 21st century technology. “It’s the greatest revolution since the invention of moveable type and the printing press,” said Billington, who championed the World Digital Library, which began linking libraries around the world in 2009. “This was big.” Billington is, quite simply, a keeper of American culture, not just the keeper of books. He is charged with preserving the past while also expanding the library’s reach by keeping it tune with the moment – in music, in film, in various forms of human literary and artistic expression.” (via McClatchy DC)

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New Films Added to National Registry

“The horrors of war, the heroism of sacrifice, a vaudeville pioneer, the devil and a master of the macabre represent the diversity of an elite selection of films that have been recognized as cultural, historic or aesthetic cinematic treasures. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced today the annual selection of 25 motion pictures to be named to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Selection to the registry will help ensure that these films will be preserved for all time. “The National Film Registry showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant,” said Billington. “By preserving these films, we protect a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.” (via Library of Congress)

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Library of Congress Union Finds Decrease in Staff

“The Library of Congress has experienced a significant reduction in staff over the past 10 years and faces an even greater reduction as more employees near retirement, according to data gathered by an employee union. “One of the Library’s greatest resources, which is its staff, has already hemorrhaged,” Library of Congress Professional Guild president Saul Schniderman told CQ Roll Call on Monday. “This isn’t something that’s going to happen. It’s already happened.” The union represents roughly half of the library’s more than 3,000 employees.” (via Roll Call)

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Rosa Parks’ archive heads to Library of Congress

Hundreds of items from civil rights icon Rosa Parks that were long kept hidden away in a New York warehouse will have a new home at the Library of Congress for the next 10 years.Library officials announced Tuesday night that Howard Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is loaning the entire collection to the world’s largest library. Buffett’s foundation bought the archive last month.The collection includes about 1,500 items, including Parks’ personal correspondence and photographs, clothing, furniture, letters from presidents and her Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal.” (via AP)

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Billy Joel to Receive Gerswhin Prize

“Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced that Billy Joel is the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Billy Joel ranks as one of the most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. His piano-fueled narratives take listeners into the relatable and deeply personal moments of life, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that “meant something during the time in which I lived … and transcended that time.” “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” “The Entertainer,” “Piano Man,” “Big Shot,” “New York State of Mind,” “You May Be Right,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Allentown,” “Uptown Girl” and “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” are among many other classics in a rich and deep catalog of songs that have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people.” (via Library of Congress)

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Library of Congress to Display Interviews With Blacks, Noted and Unsung

“Maya Angelou’s earliest childhood memory took place on a train when she was 3 years old. When her brother, Bailey, whom she described as “my black kingdom come,” went to the bathroom, Ms. Angelou thought he had been taken away by a porter. “It scared me to death,” she recounted in a video interview recorded in 2010. “I wasn’t afraid that my mother wouldn’t come back or my father or anyone else. It was always Bailey.” The small details of everyday life and more profound events that get to the heart of the black experience in America are part of an ambitious video history called The HistoryMakers that will become part of the Library of Congress, the library is expected to announce Tuesday. The collection includes 9,000 hours of video interviews with 2,600 African-Americans in more than 35 states.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Let’s Get Pinning! – Library of Congress Launches Account on Pinterest

“Today the Library of Congress launched its own Pinterest account, continuing efforts to make educational, historical and cultural resources available to web users across many platforms. With Pinterest, the Library can share visual content with a wide audience, allowing them to also curate their own collections featuring the same content by creating and managing “boards” and “pinning” items. Each pin links back to the original Library source material.” (via Library of Congress Blog)

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Library Of Congress Searches For Missing Jefferson Books

“Staffers at the Library of Congress have been looking for 250 books that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. He gave these books and several thousand more to start the library more than 200 years ago.” (via NPR)

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E.L. Doctorow Awarded American Fiction Prize

“E. L. Doctorow, author of such critically acclaimed novels as “Ragtime,” “World’s Fair,” “Billy Bathgate,” “The March” and his current novel, “Andrew’s Brain,” is the second recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. He will receive the award during this year’s National Book Festival, scheduled for Aug. 30 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The annual Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction is meant to honor an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but for its originality of thought and imagination. The award seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that—throughout long, consistently accomplished careers—have told us something about the American experience. Winning the award last year was author Don DeLillo.” (via Library of Congress Blog)

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US library launches ‘Songs of America’ online

“The Library of Congress is opening a new digital collection of the “Songs of America” to help teach the nation’s history through music. The library’s new free online resource launched this week. It includes 80,000 digitized items, including recordings, videos, sheet music, essays, biographies, maps and curator talks.” (via AP)

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