Introducing LC’s Story Maps

The Library of Congress staff is excited to launch Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections!

Story Maps, created within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based software platform created by Esri, combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. Under a program spearheaded by the Geography and Map Division, collection specialists from across the Library have produced Story Maps with content from the hidden and not-so-hidden collections of the library. We are pleased to showcase the first three published Story Maps from this program, with many more to come!

There are currently eight story maps available.  The most recent follow the four D-Day soldiers as they come ashore at Normandy.

D-Day story map

The other story maps include:

Holy Land Photography. Journey across the Middle East with English photographer Francis Frith. This Story Map includes 19th century photography and written testimony from Sinai and Palestine, a photographically illustrated book by Frith at the Library of Congress. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Camera and Locomotive. Explore the parallel histories of photography and the transcontinental railroad. Objects in the Library of Congress collections tell the story of the fascinating interconnections between the two technologies. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Maps that Changed Our World. Using the collections of the Geography and Map Division at the Library of Congress, this Story Map will explore the changes in world maps throughout the centuries and how as a result, perceptions of the world have shifted. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Treasure Trove of Trials. This is a story map is centered on a digitized selection of Law Library of Congress piracy trials. This collection is critical for understanding how various nations of the world handled piracy issues before the year 1900. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Surveying the South. Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS), primarily in the 1930s. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Incunabula. This Story Map will explore major themes in fifteenth-century (incunabula) printing, including: the transition from manuscript to print, early hand-printing methods, the invention of typography, and the integration of woodcut illustrations with type. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

Behind the Barbed Wire. A unique glimpse into the daily lives of Japanese-Americans in internment camps during WWII through the digitized collection of internment camp newspapers at the Library of Congress. This downloadable CSV file provides the mapped data in this Story Map.

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LC Offers Free Online Children’s Books

Library of CongressIn honor of centennial of the  first Children’s BookWeek in April 2019, the Library of Congress selected several children’s books and made them available online

This special collection presents children’s books selected from the General and Rare Book Collections at the Library of Congress. The collection includes classic works that are still read by children today, and lesser-known treasures drawn from the Library’s extensive collection of historically significant children’s books. The books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you’d like.

Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway.

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The selections span many generations and topics, and reflect three general themes:

  • Learning to Read: Materials produced to teach American children to read: ABC books, primers, and a wooden hornbook.
  • Reading to Learn: Materials supporting classroom instruction in subjects such as mathematics, classical mythology, natural science, and the structure and function of the Unites States government.
  • Reading for Fun: Materials to nourish the imagination: fiction, poetry, fairy tales and toy books.Library of Congress Logo

Poem in Your Pocket Day–April 18

Scanned DocumentPoem in Your Pocket Day 2019 is on April 18 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

What kind of poem will you carry?  Will it be something you wrote or a long time favorite?

Last year the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library left small rolled cylinders containing poems for people to in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Greene, and Louisa Counties on April 26.   They even left rolls for discovering around the Downtown Mall. This year they are doing it on April 25

Stop by your local library branch and pick out a gift-wrapped poem to carry in your pocket. Unwrap it and read it to yourself, share with someone close, or just tuck it in your pocket for a rainy day.

How will you celebrate the day?

Reblog: New Govinfo Webcasts

Govinfo is the website of the Government Printing Office and the source of (often) free government information.
Five new govinfo webcasts are now available at https://www.fdlp.gov/govinfo-tutorials-2 from the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO). This marks the third installment of a new tutorial series that offers guidance in navigating GPO’s govinfo.gov. Recordings are brief—from one to 11 minutes in length.

The newest webcasts:

· Advanced Searching Techniques in govinfo (10 minutes)

· Creating More Complex Searches Using Metadata in govinfo (6 minutes)

· The e-CFR or Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (5 minutes)

· Working with the U.S. Congressional Serial Set in govinfo (2 minutes)

· Spotting Misinformation: The Importance of Digital Authentication (11 minutes)

Other govinfo webcasts available:

Introduction to govinfo
What’s Available
Introduction to Browsing
Introduction to Basic Search
Introduction to Advanced Search
Introduction to Citation Search
Introduction to Search Query Operators
Introduction to Metadata Field Operators
Working with Search Results
Finding Related Documents
Using Help Information

No prerequisite knowledge is required, and GPO encourages all to share and post these brief educational webcasts on your web pages and social media.

More webcasts will continue to be posted and announced throughout 2019.

Happy Tolkien Reading Day–March 25, 2019

Tokien Reading Day was established in 2003 “to encourage fans to celebrate and promote the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien by reading favourite passages. We particularly encourage schools, museums and libraries to host their own Tolkien Reading Day events.”

The 2019  Theme is Tolkien and the mysterious.

LOTR (Lord of the Rings) is probably his most famous book.  Are you a book fan, movie fan, or both?

Did you know that in the 1960s, Mad Magazine did a  Tolkien parody called “Bored of the Rings?”  It is also the name of a Harvard Lampoon parody, available from Amazon.

A biopic of the young Tokien will be in theaters on May 10, 2019.  View the Trailer

Tolkien quote

What is your favorite Tolkien book?

Book Clubs and Authors Need Each Other

Sources fo book clubsAre you in a book club in need of authors?  Are you an author trying to find someone to read your book?  Is a book club a possible answer to your solution.

The American Library Association (ALA)’s Book Club Central may have some solutions for you to at least consider.  Sarah Jessica Parker (yes, the Sex in the City SJP) is the honorary chair.   She selects books each month on a variety of topics.  If  you are not into celebrities picking out your books (SJP or even Oprah), Book Club Central offers other suggestions and ideas.  From their about page:

Book Club Central is a new online resource for book clubs and readers featuring book reviews, author interviews, discussion questions and more.

One of this month’s featured essays  is “How to Keep a  Book Club Alive”. Written by Susan McBeth, founder an CEO of NovelNetwork.com, she identifies three types of bookclubs:  1) the social bookclub where getting together is more important than actually reading the book, 2) the serious bookclub where there is no point in showing up if you have not read the book, and 3) the virtual bookclub where members don’t have the time or  are unable to find physical booksclub to join.  One way to breath life into any of three types of book clubs is with an author visit.

If author visits are such a simple way to breathe new life into book clubs, why aren’t more book clubs doing so? Surprisingly, many readers are not even aware that there exists a trove of authors who are amenable to, and enthused about, visiting with book clubs. Many book clubs don’t realize that if an author does not live nearby, that a video chat is still possible. Technophobes (like me) may think that virtual chats are only for the tech savvy, when they are really quite simple to plan. And finally, it can indeed be time consuming to research and inquire of authors, or their many layers of publicists and agents, to find out whether or not they are one of the willing book chat enthusiasts?

Not surprisingly, NovelNetwork facilitates connecting authors with readers. From their mission statement:

NOVEL NETWORK® is a global space dedicated to connecting authors with avid readers, an expanded professional network, and published peers. NOVEL NETWORK® was created to help authors find more innovative ways to connect with readers and promote their books to wider audiences.

Book Club Central can also help you find a book club, lead a book club, find books for the book club, toubleshoot a book club, be a book club member, or start an online book club.  It also offers book suggestions.