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Friday, June 3, 2011

Library of Congress Online Treasures by Stacy

With the Library of Congress Traveling Museum dropping by the library June 7-8, I’ve been rediscovering many of the Library of Congress fabulous, online resources.  My two favorite are the American Memory Historical Collection and the National Jukebox

With American Memory, the Library of Congress has digitized the photos, maps, posters, films, speeches and other items that make up America’s history.  You can find things like the posters designedby WPA artists for National Parks and public services; a collection of panoramic maps for Oklahoma towns in the 1800s (Stillwater unfortunately is not included); sheet music from the Civil War era; magazines from the 1800s; thousands of photos on any architectural subject imaginable—and that just cracks the surface.  American Memory is my very favorite site for old images and photos.

The National Jukebox is a Library of Congress website that has full-length historical recordings.  It includes more than 10,000 old Victor record recordings from 1901 to 1925.  There are many wonderful ragtime, jazz, and blues numbers along with comedy performances, speeches, and opera.  All of them have that awesome scratchy record sound.  For years, we couldn’t wait to get rid of those scratchy sounds, but now that the scratches have been eliminated with digital recordings, it is nice to be able to hear them again.  

Some highlights include “Casey at Bat” and a large collection of the Sousa Band. I also had not heard Theodore Roosevelt’s voice before, but on the National Jukebox I was able to hear his voice for the first time (and he did not AT ALL sound like how I imagined he would).

So next week, drop by the library to see exhibits on some of our national library’s treasures, and then browse through all of their treasures online.

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