About the Library of Congress Video
This is the five dollar Confederate bill found in Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the night that he was assassinated.
These are the founding documents for the NAACP.
This is the original yellow ribbon that was tied around the old oak tree during the Iran hostage crisis.
This is the sneeze that launched a thousand film careers.
And you will find them all here at the Library of Congress.
A place that houses more fantastic and inspiring ideas than any place else in the world.
There are billions of words in hundreds of languages; there are more recordings, photographs, manuscripts, more sheet music, cartoons, and movies; more treasures; stories and inspirations than have ever been assembled in one location.
So explore, get in touch with history. See how it can color the present and reshape the future.
The Library of Congress is your library, your library, Of course its also Congress' library. Welcome!
The Library of Congress collections are fabulous. You will find treasures that exist nowhere else. All of these objects living together, talking to each other, creating a dialogue.
I have a wonderful book of poems from 19th century Arjar, Iran. Inside you have beautiful miniature paintings. You will see that it was painted with a singled-haired brush.
This is a handbill from the 1936 Ziegfeld Follies. You will note their names, Bob Hope, Josephine Baker and Fannie Brice. There is one name in the corner that you won't know. Her name is Harriet Hoctor. This is her signature pose. It is reported that she would bourree upon her little toes all the way across the stage in this position. She was a household name during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. What is extremely unusual is that she is unknown today. She has disappeared.
This is a very famous book written by Galileo in 1632. It speaks about a dialogue concerning two new sciences. In 1633, a year later, Galileo was convicted of grave suspicion of heresy.
We have some of the early newspapers in our collection. We have over a million current issues of newspapers. If you want to feel and touch originals you can do that here. This is the Maryland Journal published July 10, 1776. It contains one of the first printings of the Declaration of Independence. It also is one off the first printings published by a woman.
We have twelve original hand drawn maps produced by George Washington. We think of George Washington as general; we think of him as president. We think of him in the Geography and Map Division as surveyor and mapmaker.
We have about 128,000 original cartoon drawings and prints. This is a cartoon by Herblock which is called Jericho USA. He makes an incredibly powerful, dramatic statement about the African American struggle for civil rights.
Pictures are an easy way to walk directly into the past. This is a wonderful photograph of Rosie the Riveter. She is representing the many hundreds of women who worked in airplane factories and other areas of the economy during World War II.
I bet you would be surprised to discover that we hold the contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets from the night that he was assassinated. A linen handkerchief, a jackknife, two pairs of glasses, but most surprisingly, I think for people, we found a five dollar Confederate bill. These were the contents that were handed over to Robert Todd Lincoln the night that his father died.
One of our top treasures is the "Book of Privileges" of Christopher Columbus. The "Book of Privileges" is a compilation of numerous documents between King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella relating to Columbus' exploits. There are four know copies in the world. It is a very important document.
Preservation is one of the most important goals here at the library. This is an exqusite book that was printed in 1486 which is before Columbus. All of the drawings are hand done. The book is over 500 years old. The color is just absolutely stunning.
Preservation is very important for the Library of Congress because we want you to be able to use our collections forever. We have a lot of materials that become brittle with age. They turn yellow and they fall apart very easily. There are all sorts of objects, original objects in the exhibitions. The rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. The Gutenberg Bible. We have the first document on which the name America appears. It was a map created in 1507 by a man from Germany whose name was Martin Waldsemüller.
This Koran page dates back over a thousand years old. You can find different Korans, but this may be one of the oldest in existence. What is really special about this"Mother Goose" collection is that it was published during the Great Depression. I want to show you the most beautiful pop-up of Mother Goose and it's astonishing that a book of this rich color was published during that time.
One thing that people don't know is that we actually have a very large science laboratory here at the Library of Congress. Chemists and physicists come from all over the world to work with us to develop a solution which is called mass deacidification. We make sure that the materials that we keep are kept in the best, in the optimal of conditions.
By standing in front of a map that Lewis and Clark took when they traveled to the Pacific Northwest you see the wrinkles, the folds in that map and you know that they carried that with them.
The single biggest thing that has happened at the Library is digitizing the collections and making them available over the Web. When the Library was first created you had to come here and sit down and be right here on site. You can be right at home and access history from all over the world.
The National Library Service produces braille and talking books. They are distributed to more than 700,000 users.
The Geography and Map Division embarked on a project 11 years ago to begin to convert paper maps into digital formats. To be able to make an image available on the Web for me is thrilling. The new Library of Congress Experience is totally interactive.
I just love to watch people experiencing this building. You get to have a direct connection with history that's not available in any other way.
I read books like everyday. History is my favorite subject in school because I can learn from all the events that have happened in the past, they have significance on me now.
You actually are part of the story and you have something to take home and use for the rest of your life.
It's about life long learning. Now that's worth it. We can talk for hours about everything you can see and do here at the Library of Congress. But now, its time for you to take over. The Library of Congress is here for you to explore. It's a true national treasure and it's one that is worth more everytime you use it.
So touch history
touch history, and let it change the way you see the world.
The Library of Congress is your library.
This is my library,
This is my library,
This is my library,
This is our library.
And, of course, it's Congress' library, as well.
Check it out,
Check it out,
Check it out!