“The Crown” At the Library

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip disembark from the ship “Susan Constant” at Jamestown, Virginia, 1957. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. Prints and Photographs Division. This is a guest post by Ryan Reft of the Library’s Manuscript Division. “On days like today you ask yourself, ‘In the time I’ve been on the throne, what have I actually achieved?’ ” queries the … Continue reading “The Crown” At the Library

Inquiring Minds: Family Surprised to Discover Civil War Veteran’s Ordeal on LOC Blog

Peggy Lundeen Johnson Peggy Lundeen Johnson is the great-great-granddaughter of Samuel J. Gibson. He fought for the Union during the Civil War and was incarcerated in the Confederate military prison in Andersonville, Georgia, in 1864. While there, he kept a daily log of his experience. Johnson was unaware of the diary until she encountered it on the Library’s blog. In this post, she reflects on … Continue reading Inquiring Minds: Family Surprised to Discover Civil War Veteran’s Ordeal on LOC Blog

How “The Postman Always Rings Twice” Got Its “Sort of Crazy” Name

This story is adapted from an upcoming issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. The first page of Cain’s “Bar-B-Q” manuscript, with its famous opening line. Manuscript Division. In the early fall of 1933, first-time novelist James M. Cain and his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, had a problem. Cain, 41, a hard-drinking journalist from Baltimore trying to hang on in Hollywood, had written a crackerjack … Continue reading How “The Postman Always Rings Twice” Got Its “Sort of Crazy” Name

Inquiring Minds: Alan Gephardt, Garfield Expert

Alan Gephardt is a ranger at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site of the U.S. National Park Service in Mentor, Ohio. He has drawn extensively on the James A. Garfield papers at the Library to interpret the 20th U.S. president’s legacy.  Alan Gephardt holds a reproduction of one of President Garfield’s scapbooks. Photo courtesy of the Garfield National Historic Site. What does your job … Continue reading Inquiring Minds: Alan Gephardt, Garfield Expert

Freud’s Last Days in Vienna as Nazis Approached

The personal papers of Sigmund Freud at the Library of Congress have been digitized and are available online  Included on the Library’s website for streaming are 11 home movies of Freud made between 1928 and 1939. Margaret McAleer, a historical specialist of modern America in the Library’s Manuscript Division, oversees the Library’s more than 100 collections documenting the history of psychoanalysis. Here, she writes about Freud’s … Continue reading Freud’s Last Days in Vienna as Nazis Approached

Crowdsourcing Challenge!

By the People, the Library’s crowdsourcing transcription project, is calling on volunteers to complete 1,000 pages from the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” campaign before Monday, August 19th. The speeches, diaries, and letters of suffragists reveal complex personalities and a multifaceted movement.  Here, Elizabeth A. Novara, a historian in the Library’s Manuscript Division, writes about some of the family and personal relationships that sustained … Continue reading Crowdsourcing Challenge!

Now Online! The Love Letters of James and Lucretia Garfield

James and Lucretia Garfield, depicted in unnamed publication, ca. 1880 This is a guest post by Michelle Krowl, a historian in the Manuscript Division. It’s a lovely piece about how the slow-burning passion of the couple developed over years of time. “It is nearly ten o’clock Sunday night and I will not lie down to sleep till I have told you again that I love … Continue reading Now Online! The Love Letters of James and Lucretia Garfield

Inquiring Minds: Rediscovering One of America’s Leading Songwriters

An excerpt in Gena Branscombe’s writing from her original “Pilgrims of Destiny” manuscript, held in the Library’s Music Division. Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Shimeta stumbled upon Gena Branscombe (1881–1977) in the late 1990s when Shimeta was planning a Valentine’s Day recital. Branscombe, it turned out, had set to music Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous sonnet beginning “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Delighted by … Continue reading Inquiring Minds: Rediscovering One of America’s Leading Songwriters

New! Baseball’s Jim Bouton and “Ball Four” at the Library

The original cover, “Ball Four” (1970). Jim Bouton Papers, Manuscript Division. Jim Bouton Enterprises, Inc., no commercial reuse. We are thrilled to announce that the Library has acquired the papers of former Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Bouton. Celebrated in his 20s as a pitcher with the New York Yankees of the 1960s, Bouton attained lasting fame as the author of an explosive (and hilarious) memoir, “Ball Four: … Continue reading New! Baseball’s Jim Bouton and “Ball Four” at the Library

The Will of Claudia Izard: An Uneasy Antebellum Testament

This is a guest post by Julie Miller, a historian in the Manuscript Division. It offers a window into the social realities of South Carolina in the days leading up to the Civil War, when very different ideas of “freedom” existed side by side. As any reader will notice, such issues persist in different form today.  Henry and Claudia Izard lived at a house called … Continue reading The Will of Claudia Izard: An Uneasy Antebellum Testament