The Lincoln Memorial at 100

At the end of the month, we mark the centennial of the Lincoln Memorial. This monument to our 16th President was dedicated on Memorial Day (then Decoration Day) in 1922 and its one hundred year birthday falls on Memorial Day this year. The Lincoln Memorial is visited by millions every year in Washington, D.C., and has been the site for many memorable speeches and events over time.  The dedication ceremony drew quite a crowd. On May 30, 1922, approximately 50,000 people gathered around the base of the memorial and some along the Reflecting Pool, as seen in the photos below: Dedication Lincoln Memorial, [5/30/22]. Photo by National Photo Company, [1922 May 30]. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/npcc.23029 Dedication Lincoln Memorial, 5/30/22. Photo by National…

Mystery Gadgets Galore!

Attention all who are curious about gadgets, inventions, science, technology, and a good old-fashioned mystery! This week will offer two opportunities to explore mysterious thingamabobs and whatchamacallits and perhaps give them their real names. Within the Harris & Ewing Photograph Collection, we have a number of uncaptioned photographs that feature “gadgets” of unknown purpose – gadgets being a catchall term here for sometimes rather large and elaborate mechanical, electrical, and scientific devices. As we have before, we are calling on you to crack the code and share what you know about these machines. On Thursday, May 5th at 7pm EST (today!), join Reference Librarian Jonathan Eaker of the Prints & Photographs Division for a virtual webinar: Object Lesson: Gadgets in…

Happy Birthday, Library of Congress: 222 Years and Still Growing

We celebrate April 24 as the birthday of the Library of Congress. On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of congress.” It would take a bit longer for the Library of Congress to have books, a home, and a librarian. The initial collection of 740 volumes and three maps was ordered from London, and arrived in 1801. They were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library’s home for nearly the first century of its existence. In early 1802, President Thomas Jefferson approved the first law defining the library’s functions and created the post of Librarian of Congress. This architectural drawing of the…

A Virtual Window into Deaf History

In honor of Deaf History Month, which runs from mid-March to mid-April, we are offering a webinar showcasing photographs and prints of Deaf people, notable figures, education, careers, and activities found in the Prints and Photographs Division’s collections. The first half of the presentation will be in American Sign Language (ASL) with closed captioning and voice interpretation for non-signing viewers. The second half will be in English with an interpreter using ASL as well as closed captioning. The session will be offered twice. Our two staff members who will be sharing their knowledge of Deaf history in ASL during the first half of the presentation offered a few images as a preview. Digital Library Specialist Pete Richey selected the following…