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(Another) look at Giovanni Battista Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure

Giovanni Battista d'Antonio Braccelli was a Florentine artist (PDF*) who was active from 1616 to 1649, and is little known beyond some highly creative works. Finding details on his life can be more difficult due to multiple forms for his names (Giovanbatista, Bracelli, Braccielli, Brazzè, and the nickname "il Bigio" - the gray one) within his own work and secondary sources, and early writers conflated his biography with that of a Genoese painter of the same name. But if you enjoy surreal illustrations, check out Braccelli's Bizzarie di varie figure (online view from Gallica - Bibliothèque nationale de France; online and PDF in the US Library of Congress collection** from Lessing J. Rosenwald). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2014 - 6 comments

The Roadmap to Saving the Sounds of America, Though the Road is Bumpy

The National Recording Preservation Board was mandated by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, but it didn't have a preservation plan in place to address saving everything from the oldest tin foil recordings (prev) to recent "born digital" creations. That changed with the National Recording Preservation Plan (full 89 page PDF). Except, "the recording preservation provisions under current law are so restrictive you literally can't make — legally — a digital copy of an older analog recording without permissions which are very hard to get" (NPR). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 15, 2013 - 8 comments

LOC amassing tweets at breakneck pace, needs help to make it accessible

The Library of Congress posted a Jan 2013 update on its mission to archive public tweets, announced back in April 2010 (previously). 170 billion tweets so far, adding more than .5 billion per day. Search for a term? Prepare to wait ~24 hours. [more inside]
posted by sundog on Jan 29, 2013 - 20 comments

Ex Libris Houdini

Ehrich Weisz may not have had much formal education, but he grew up to be Harry Houdini, self-educated stunt performer, escape artist, and owner of "one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc., some of the material going back as far as 1489." Houdini bequeathed much of his collection to the Library of Congress, which received 3,988 volumes from his collection in 1927, including a number of magic books inscribed or annotated by well-known magicians. Archive.org has more of the Harry Houdini Collection online. He also put a great deal of research into his tricks, as seen in his letter to Dr. W. J. McConnell, a physiologist at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, written up after Houdini's watery grave stunt in 1926.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 3, 2012 - 5 comments

The art of Kevin J. Weir, who enjoys bears, space, and GIFs

Kevin J. Weir is an artist, making ads (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), and more interestingly, not ads. In the latter category, he has made 3 stand-alone sites: the Flux Machine, a tumblr of public domain images turned into animated GIFs, ranging from amusing to surreal (with an extra dash of Lovecraft), which Cartoon Brew likened to Terry Gilliam and Stan VanDerBeek; Nyan Waits, another spin-off of the Nyan Cat meme/theme, now with more Tom Waits; and Loud Portraits, an interactive portrait gallery. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 4, 2012 - 9 comments

Music to my ears.

New from the Library of Congress, National Jukebox, where you can listen to 10,000 rare historic sound recordings. (Streaming only, requires flash and javascript.)
posted by fings on May 10, 2011 - 22 comments

The site should smell like a musty book.

The US Library of Congress has updated their site to be more user friendly. Collections are now very easy to explore. All of the fun of wandering around a library without leaving your chair. [more inside]
posted by kensch on Mar 21, 2011 - 11 comments

Tufte eat your heart out!

"A Series of Statistical Charts, Illustrating The Condition of the Descendants of Former African Slaves Now Resident In the United States of America." (HQ Library of Congress links.) W.E.B. DuBois : "I wanted to set down its aim and method in some outstanding way which would bring my work to the notice of the thinking world. The great World's Fair at Paris was being planned and I thought I might put my findings into plans, charts and figures, so one might see what we were trying to accomplish." [more inside]
posted by stratastar on Feb 25, 2011 - 8 comments

It's probably doing some research on Natty Bumppo

Since at least Wednesday, there's been a Cooper's Hawk in the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress. It has has adopted the ornate 160ft high dome as its aerie. [more inside]
posted by Herodios on Jan 21, 2011 - 48 comments

Early films from the Library of Congress

America at Work, America at Leisure - "Work, school, and leisure activities in the United States from 1894 to 1915 are featured in this presentation of 150 motion pictures." [Library of Congress Youtube playlist]
posted by peacay on May 20, 2010 - 5 comments

LOC to acquire all public tweets

The Library of Congress will be archiving all public tweets ever published. They'll be doing this after a six-month delay. LOC announced this via Twitter first, naturally. Notable scholars consider some problems and open questions. [more inside]
posted by tarheelcoxn on Apr 14, 2010 - 83 comments

Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain The Library of Congress' Music and the Brain podcasts offer lectures and conversations about new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Sufi rituals, Wednesday is Indigo Blue (synaesthesia), Your Brain on Jazz, The Music of Language and the Language of Music, and more.
posted by carter on Feb 15, 2010 - 13 comments

Voices from the Days of Slavery

"If I thought, had any idea, that I’d ever be a slave again, I’d take a gun and just end it all right away." Audio recordings from interviews with former slaves, conducted by WPA folklorists and others, including the Lomaxes and Zora Neale Hurston. Only these twenty-six audio recordings of people formerly enslaved in the antebellum American South have ever been found.
posted by Miko on Feb 7, 2010 - 16 comments

Local Knowledge

In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Feb 5, 2010 - 7 comments

Another Gatsby?

Certain clues seem to indicate that we may be facing a second depression. But what would another Depression mean in literary terms? Would it produce a second 'Gatsby'? While circumstances might be different this time around, perhaps it's worth revisiting some of the experiences of some who lived and wrote through the first Great Depression.
posted by sarabeth on Mar 6, 2009 - 36 comments

For Ourselves and Our Posterity

Inauguration 2009 Sermons and Orations Project The Library of Congress invites you to submit digital audio or video recordings of speeches made between January 16 and january 25, 2009 on the occasion of Barack Obama's inauguration. The speeches will be archived in a collection for future scholarship, much like the Day of Infamyand other collections capturing signifcant American moments.
posted by Miko on Dec 24, 2008 - 4 comments

This deal here is new

"New Deal Programs: Selected Library of Congress Resources was created to serve as a starting point for research using Library of Congress collections of New Deal program materials." Includes links to numerous collections of digitized materials, including photos, posters, music, manuscripts and more. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Jul 15, 2008 - 4 comments

Library of Congress Historic Baseball Resources

The Library of Congress has unveiled a baseball history section on their website. You can see old baesball cards, panoramic shots, a section for teachers and, coolest of all, a video of a baseball game shot by Thomas Edison in 1898.
posted by zzazazz on Mar 26, 2008 - 17 comments

Webcasts from the Library of Congress

Webcasts from the Library of Congress. Hundreds of recent public programs from the Library of Congress, from Indian Religious Freedom, to Litigate or Legislate? to End of European Colonial Empires, to Robert E. Lee, to 1507 Waldseemuller World Map. Other topics include Performing Arts, Education, Government, World Affairs, Literature, Religion and Science. [more inside]
posted by LarryC on Feb 22, 2008 - 6 comments

Rediscovered photos from Lincoln's second inauguration

"New" photos emerge of Lincoln's second inauguration The Library of Congress has discovered new photographs taken in 1865 at Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration. For years they were filed under President Grant's archive, mislabeled into obscurity. Incidentally, this week will be the grand opening of Lincoln's summer "cottage" in northwest DC.
posted by wowbobwow on Feb 18, 2008 - 11 comments

Ragtime at the Library of Congress

"Sit down, shut up, and listen to Ragtime!" Ragtime at the Library of Congress.
posted by trip and a half on Nov 22, 2006 - 8 comments

2005 National Recording Registry

The Library of Congress has competed its annual selection of 50 sound recordings for the 2005 National Recording Registry. Nominations are being accepted for 2006.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 17, 2006 - 24 comments

Reading it only for the articles, honestly in this case

Playboy in Braille. Yep, since 1970, the Library of Congress has offered Playboy among their Braille conversion services. Of course, none of the images are converted, it's just for the articles. [via coolhunting]
posted by mathowie on Apr 3, 2006 - 18 comments

Manteca to Nirvana

The latest additions to the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress have just been announced. This year's additions of "culturally, historically or aesthetically important" works include "Swanee'" by Al Jolson, Edward R. Murrow's radio reports from London during WWII, and "Fear of a Black Planet" by Public Enemy. View the full registry here, selection criteria and nomination information here.
posted by me3dia on Apr 6, 2005 - 17 comments

Geographical fun.

Geographical fun: being humourous outlines of various countries, with an introduction and descriptive lines.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Dec 11, 2003 - 5 comments

We are the world, we are the children...

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!" Who says 'Murricans are insular and self-absorbed?! Okay, everybody, but everybody's wrong. Proof positive? The absolutely last and final word that'll make everybody believe we really do care about their mangy foreign butts? The fact that the Library of Congress has a wonderful site called A World of Books: Annotated Surveys of Noteworthy Books from Around the Globe, devoted to "some of the most important and interesting books published abroad that an American public may have overlooked. The results provide a fascinating insight about other peoples and cultures." It's good times.
posted by jengod on Jul 9, 2003 - 11 comments

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