The Library of Congress has a free, bimonthly magazine that can be viewed/downloaded at http://www.loc.gov.lcm. Designed “to tell the library’s stories, to showcase its many talented staff, and to share and promote the use of the resources of the world’s largest library,” the current issue (Volume 2, Number 4) as well as all previous issues are available on the website.
This July/August issue includes an article about a rare book written decades ago in Kenya by the father of the 44th U.S. president. “Otien, The Wise Man” was written in a Kenyan dialect and published in 1959 “to promote literacy at a time when adult illiteracy was widespread.” The 40-page volume is thought to be one of only four in existence. “The Library of Congress acquired its copy of ‘Otien, The Wise Man’ in March 1967 — 41 years before the author’s son was elected president.”
In addition to the magazine’s feature articles, its departments include Online Offerings, Technology at the Library, Books That Shaped Us, Page from the Past, News Briefs, Shop the Library, and Last Word.
LOC photos online
The Library of Congress has recently finished a project begun in 2008 of digitizing a collection of 400 old panoramic postcards — “a big part of American history.” Visit http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?qlot+14058&cocph&stgallery to see a sampling of these images. A search for postcards relating to Chicago resulted in 1,463 “hits.”
To access the library’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, visit http://www.loc.gov/pictures, where all collections are listed, along with links to descriptions as well as the photos themselves. The collections include baseball cards, cartoons, drawings, Civil War glass negatives and related prints (where a surname search can be made), the Liljenquist Family Collection (of more than 700 rare ambrotype and tintype photographs of Civil War soldiers, both north and south), the Gladstone collection of African American Photographs, and more.