Library Of Congress

Library Acquires Robert Dawson’s Images of Public Libraries

The Library of Congress has acquired 681 photographs from "The Public Library: An American Commons," a photographic survey by Robert Dawson of public libraries in the United States. The photographs significantly expand the Library’s holdings that describe the American public library—as architecture, community spaces and a reflection of the contemporary social landscape.

"Robert Dawson’s extensive survey provided the perfect opportunity for the Library of Congress to represent the public library’s role in the 21st century. His photographs also offer a fascinating comparison to our interior and exterior views of libraries newly built at the start of the 20th century," said Helena Zinkham, director for Collections and Services at the Library of Congress.

The Dawson collection is the largest acquisition of library photography by the Library of Congress since the early 1900s.

From Library Acquires Robert Dawson’s Images of Public Libraries | News Releases - Library of Congress

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

After years of debate over the Library of Congress' failure to adapt to changing digital technology, the resignation of its longest-serving Librarian represents a new opportunity to move into the digital age.

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

A Look At The LoC's New CIO

Anyone working at the forefront of technology knows just how difficult it is to keep up with the evolving digital world, and perhaps no one is better positioned to understand this than Bernard (Bud) Barton, Jr., who was just hired as the Library of Congress’s new chief information officer. Last week, Barton started his job as the person responsible for taking the keeper of America’s most prized documents and records into the digital age. The details of how he will achieve this are still in the making, but a lot is riding on his appointment as the Library of Congress struggles to modernize.

From Does this guy have the hardest job in tech? - Fortune

Jerry Lewis career archive enters the Library of Congress

An extensive archive from comedian Jerry Lewis' career, including rarely seen films, long-lost TV recordings and home videos, will have a new home at the Library of Congress, curators announced Monday.

The collection includes thousands of documents and recordings. Lewis is donating some items, while others are being purchased by the library from his personal archive. Some materials will be available immediately to researchers in Washington.

From Jerry Lewis career archive enters the Library of Congress

Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive, should be the next Librarian of Congress.

My nominee for the post, and I'm far from alone in saying this, is Brewster Kahle. (Disclosure: He’s a friend.) For the past two decades he's led one of the genuine treasures of our age, as founder and director—he calls himself “digital librarian”—of the Internet Archive. A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he's been a founder or co-founder of some of the most path-breaking technology projects in recent times, including the Wide Area Information Server, an early Internet publishing system, and the Alexa Internet catalog system, which he sold to Amazon in the 1990s. His biography is amazing, and his commitment to the public good is inspiring.

From Brewster Kahle, creator of the Internet Archive, should be the next Librarian of Congress.

Books That Shaped America | National Book Festival - Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, the world’s largest repository of knowledge and information, began a multiyear “Celebration of the Book” with an exhibition on “Books That Shaped America.” The initial books in the exhibition are displayed below.

“This list is a starting point,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It is not a register of the ‘best’ American books – although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives, whether they appear on this initial list or not.”

We hope you will view the list, discuss it with your friends and family, and most importantly, choose to read and discuss some of the books on this list, reflecting America’s unique and extraordinary literary heritage, which the Library of Congress makes available to the world.

From Books That Shaped America | National Book Festival - Library of Congress

ALA Questions Bid for Independent Copyright Office

Via Publishers Weekly:

The American Library Association is joining a chorus of Internet and tech businesses in questioning a proposal to remove the U.S. Copyright Office from the purview of the Library of Congress, and to establish it as its own independent agency.

Who Will Be Appointed as Next Librarian of Congress

The President, in this case, Barack Obama, appoints the Librarian of Congress. Here's the statute about that particular appointment.

Should it be a presidential appointment? Should the next office holder have a degree in Library Science (Mr. Billington did not).

Infodocket has more information on the period of transition, including this:

LC tells us that while no timeline is in place at the moment, President Obama has “roughly” six months to consider nominees for the vacancy. If a new Librarian of Congress is not confirmed by the time of Dr. Billington’s retirement, David Mao, Deputy Librarian, would serve as Acting Librarian of Congress until the time a new leader is confirmed by the Senate. Mao holds both legal and library degrees.

GAO report finds America’s ‘national library’ is lacking in leadership

The federal government’s watchdog agency released a critical report Tuesday on the Library of Congress’s long-standing failures to manage the complex computer systems that are vital to its mission.

Read the rest here:

Now on View at the Library of Congress, One of the Four Surviving Copies of the Magna Carta

Via the Washington Post: A yellowing piece of parchment covered in Latin, the Magna Carta now on view at the Library of Congress is as charming as a tax form. Hey, no one ever said cornerstones of constitutional law and civil liberty had to be pretty.

Magna Carta (experts drop the preceding “the”) got off to a rough start. When King John signed the “Great Charter” in 1215, on a field near London, he had no intention of appeasing its authors, barons who chafed at too-high taxes. But because they’d captured London, the king had no choice, says Nathan Dorn, curator of “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor,” a new exhibit at the Library of Congress.

The barons made at least 41 copies and sent them to every county in England. The document on view is one of four surviving copies; the original is lost.


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