Tag Archives: Blog

Frederick Law Olmsted: A Well Designed Bicentennial | Library of Congress Blog

April 28, 2022, by Neely Tucker

Frederick Law Olmsted. Engraved by T. Johnson; from a photo by James Notman. 1983. Prints and Photographs Division.

This is a guest post by Barbara Bair, a historian in the Manuscript Division.

This month, the Library is recognizing this week’s bicentennial of the birth of writer, administrator and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of the U.S. Capitol grounds and public parks and spaces around the country.

Activities include an Olmsted Bicentennial exhibit in the Jefferson Building and a series of By the People crowdsourcing transcription challenges for online volunteers.

The Library holds the largest collection of manuscript materials in the nation related to Olmsted’s long career, as well as the records of the 20th-century successor firm operated by his sons. The Manuscript Division holds both Olmsted’s personal papers and the records of Olmsted Associates. The landscape architecture firm based in Brookline, Massachusetts, was operated by Olmsted sons Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and John Charles Olmsted, and featured many talented associates.

These collections are digitized and available online. The bicentennial exhibit charts Olmsted’s life from his youth through modern reinterpretations of the public parks he designed. The five-case display is on view on both sides of the Great Hall through June 4. It features items from the Manuscript Division, the Prints and Photographs Division and the general collections in combination with reproductions of drawings and photographs from the National Park Service’s Olmsted Archives at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Brookline.

Source: Frederick Law Olmsted: A Well Designed Bicentennial | Library of Congress Blog

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Resources at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress Blog

March 3, 2022 by Neely Tucker

This 1648 map is one of the first to use “Ukraine” as the name for the region. Geography and Map Division.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the latest violent development in a long and turbulent history in the land of the steppes, and the Library has international resources on the region that go back for hundreds of years.

You can learn a lot here, from one of the first maps that used the name “Ukraine” for the area (in 1648), to the poetry and writings of national hero Taras Shevchenko in the 19th century, to up-to-the-minute news and analysis from the Congressional Research Service.

You can also watch an hourlong seminar, Putin, Ukraine, and What’s Likely to Happen, hosted by the Library’s Kluge Institute and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, recorded just before Russia invaded.

This article is a brief summary of the Library’s holdings regarding the region.

Shevchenko statue in Washington, D.C. Photo: Carol Highsmith. Prints and Photographs Division.

Some descriptions are from official Library documents.

First, it helps to know that Ukraine roughly translates as “frontier” and its location between Europe and Asia has meant that human beings have traipsed through it, going east or west, for thousands of years. It has been included in any number of empires, divided into many different configurations and called by any number of names before it declared independence in its current boundaries in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Our primary documents thus refer to the region by the name (or names) it was known at the time. The maps, lithographs, books and manuscripts shine through with illuminations and hand-coloring from centuries long past.

Source: The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Resources at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress Blog

Free to Use and Reuse: Aircraft! | Library of Congress Blog

February 14, 2022 by, Neely Tucker

 All-Story Magazine, cover, Oct. 1908.Artist: Harry Grant Dart. Prints and Photographs Division.

The Library’s Free to Use and Reuse copyright-free prints and photographs are among the most popular items in the Library’s vast collections.

They’re great images from days gone by and they’re yours for free!

You can check out the pictures in travel posters, autumn and halloween, weddings, movie palaces and dozens more. You can download them, make posters for your home or wallpapers for your phone.

Let’s check out a few from our aircraft collection. As the 1908 illustration above shows, we have a very liberal definition of “aircraft.”

A Pan American travel poster from the late 1940s. Artist: Mark von Arenburg. Prints and Photographs Division.

This contraption, with a nattily-attired couple purring through the heavens, appears to be akin to a two-seater convertible with wings, perched below a zeppelin. Our heroine has taken the wheel and her gentleman companion is, no doubt, mansplaining how to Fly This Danged Thing.

Source: Free to Use and Reuse: Aircraft! | Library of Congress Blog

Making the Library of Congress More Relatable | ISTE Blog

By Julie Randles, February 3, 2022

from article…

Carla Hayden is an anomaly.

She’s not only the first woman and African-American to hold the Librarian of Congress position – she’s actually a librarian, too. That makes her the second in a string of 14 historians, lawyers, even a poet who have held this post by presidential appointment.

Hayden’s personal love of books goes back to the days when she had to sacrifice buying a hamburger to pay her late fines when she forgot to return Marguerite de Angeli’s Bright April to her local library branch in Queens, New York. These days, her focus isn’t on giving up as much as giving back as she oversees the Congressional Library, with its wealth of knowledge and treasures that include Wonder Woman comics, Lincoln’s Bible and the original lyrics to “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music.”

Her role is to assist Congress in locating its research targets among the 164 million items and hundreds of miles of bookshelves, and overseeing the U.S. Copyright Office. The latter means that Hayden is the person who, through 2026, will determine whether particular works are subject to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for technological access protection.

Source: Making the Library of Congress More Relatable | ISTE