Library of Congress Super Users: 2019 National Book Festival

Library of Congress Super Users: 2019 National Book Festival


>>The most beautiful thing in the world is not a
freshly cut scented rose, it’s not a sunny day, blue skies
with scattered white clouds, nor is it any piece of art by da
Vinci, Michelangelo, or Picasso. The most beautiful thing
is the glow of a woman who has life inside of her life. The most beautiful thing
is the shape of a woman who carries the product
of her own creation. The most beautiful thing is the
mere fact that she is now two in one, turning two into three. The most beautiful thing
in the world is pregnancy. Two in one. Now, her attitude might
change at the snap of a finger from laughing about something,
to crying about nothing, to mad about everything and
jumping on your every word. And midnight hugs might have
to be put on hold for a minute, but you have to understand those
nights when she doesn’t feel like it and control
those manly nerves. And her taste buds might
crave a specific flavor at that specific time to calm
her motherly appetite urge, and she’s always the topic of
attention wherever she goes, for she carries around
her own nest for 270 days, protective like a mother bird. Two in one. And fellows, we must
understand the mental, chemical, and physical imbalances
that plague her. Spoil her and give her respect,
for she is the one who protects in which you helped create. Massage her stressed lower
back, relax her muscles to help her stand straight,
rub her sore and tired feet for all day she carries
around this extra weight. Two in one. Brothers, you must not only
be the role of the father, but the role of the coach
and guardian of her temple. You must protect her from
harm, not create harm. We must channel [inaudible]that
weigh [inaudible] her womb, not cause stress. We must make sure she
eats right, exercises, and gets her rest
for the long haul. We must make her
outer being peaceful for an inner being change and ease the break
like a glass wall. Two and one. Men, you understand that
when her water breaks, she’s now putting her life on
the line to give birth, not you. She’s now sacrificing her life so that another life
may live, not you. She’s now fighting
unbearable pains and defeating complications
[inaudible] may live on through a new life, not you. I tear for the women whose last
push was their last breath. Two and one. A magazine said, “on average, a man says his woman is
beautiful five times a month.” But ladies who have had babies,
remember when your ankles and feet started to swell,
the marks began to stretch, your face started to puff,
your nose began to spread, your hair gets longer, and the
daily outfits are stretch-pants and t-shirts, if it was God’s
plan and I was your man, I would tell you “baby, you
look good” five times a day, and I’d mean it each time
because you’re more beautiful than Miss Universe, you are
the universe in and around you. My sun rays, joining with
the moon like creating and developing a shining star. I’ve seen a lot of
beautiful things in my life, some desirable, some
unforgettable, and some that have
brought nothing but fun. But there’s nothing,
nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman. Two in one. Thank you for listening,
you all. [ Applause ] Hello, everyone,
hello, hello, hello. My name is Eric Smith,
poetically I go by “E-Baby,” I’m not going to tell you that
because I don’t know you all, and yeah, it’s personal,
it’s personal, but just enjoy the name. I’m here as a poet, and we
are doing the first annual LOC super-panel, super-users. We’re people who take advantage
of the copyright office or the CRS office,
or COM [phonetic], those are different divisions
within the library of congress, and we’re just going to
give you a little bit of that right there. Just do a little bit
more poetry real quick, how many people know
what a haiku is? Haiku? Okay, cool,
that’s most of the room, so I really don’t
have to go into it. How many people know
what a senryu is? Okay, cool. See, it’s the same
thing as the haiku. Haiku’s are short
Japanese poems, as we know, three lines, five, seven, five. They must have a kigo. A kigo means seasons, so
we’re talking about something with nature, mosquitos
represent summer, the sun, summertime, snow, winter. And they have what’s called a
kireji, k-i-r-e-j-u, look it up, if I’m messing it
up, I apologize. But that represents how
it cuts the sentence off, that’s where you get
those short sentences. A senryu is the exact same
thing; five, seven, five. The only difference
is, you’re allowed to just flow right through it. You don’t have to talk about
seasons and it doesn’t have to be short, so they can just
flow right and go into it. So, I’ll do a few, haiku. And another thing to them is
they have to have meaning, so you try to catch what’s going
on in a short period of time. Haiku. I can say Wednesday,
but can’t spell Wednesday if I don’t say Wed-nes-day. Thank you very much,
haiku, thank you very much. [ Laughter ] That’s it. Who was counting, just
didn’t believe me? Like, some-pe-ople-say– You
don’t have to raise your hand, I know, I know you–
okay, check it out. I can say Wednesday, but
can’t spell Wednesday if I don’t say Wed-nes-day. Five, seven, five. I’ll give you another one. Now you believe me, I’ll probably get some
claps the next time around. Just messing with
you, alright, haiku. Some like the person
in the selfie more than the one in the mirror. Haiku, thank you
very much, haiku. One more– oh. [ Applause ] See. [ Applause ] You all are helping me stretch
time out, thank you, thank you, but you don’t have to clap
anymore, you don’t have to clap. One more, one more. Haiku. Some women clip
their own wings to stay with a man who’s afraid to fly. Haiku, thank you very much. So, that’s my poetry segment
right there, thank you all for listening, thank
you all for listening. I’ve been doing poetry
for about 20 years, and as I travel the country
going to colleges, universities, performing at open mic
spots, and I have one here in Hyattsville, Maryland,
here in the area. I come across a lot of people
who don’t copyright their work, they don’t copyright their work. Now, that’s true that they say,
oh, once you’ve written it, it’s done, it’s copy written, but you want to protect
yourself. The poor man’s copyright;
don’t do it. Don’t mail it to
yourself, don’t believe that a mail stamp is protection
for you, do not do that. Copyright.gov is
where you need to go. I feel like I’m doing
a commercial. I work at the copyright office,
I hope my boss gets to see this. Hey, I’ll need this on
my evaluation, alright? I’m going to need that
tape right there, buddy. But yes, the copyright
office, we’re here, we are down and southeast DC,
right off of the orange and blue line, Capitol Hill. Once you come off of the metro
station, we are right there in your face, the
Madison Building. There are three buildings
to the Library of Congress, and we’re in the Madison
Building, fourth floor. One thing that’s very
important, copyright.gov, I’m going to speak to those even
who are watching, copyright.gov. It’s not copyright.com,
copyright.net, copyright this is really
us, we’ve seen it all. There are a lot of
organizations out there who will take your money and
you will think that you’re under copyright law,
that is not true. Copyright.gov. C-o-p-y-r-i-g-h-t,
not w-r-i-t-e, trust me, I’ve seen that too. Wrong “right,” not that
“write,” this “right,” like, make a right, that right. But definitely protect
yourself, it is very important, and that’s where
you can find us. So, today I’m going to bring
up a lovely panel, your panel, and as I said, this is a great
evening, this is wonderful, we were surprised at the crowd
that came up, and we thank you, please give yourselves a
round of applause, please, because you hung out
until five o’clock, I know some feet are hurting
right now, but enjoy yourselves and relax, and we’ll
move right on. So, my first presenter,
my first panel member, will be the lovely Athena
Angelos, please give it up for her, please,
give it up for Athena. [ Applause ]>>I’m kind of nervous, just
get that out of the way. Hi, everyone, thanks for
coming this afternoon, and I hope you’ve been
having a good day so far at this amazing event. I’d like to thank– and
I’m getting– there we go. So, I have to thank Becky
Clark of the publishing office of the Library of Congress for
thinking of me for this event. And like Eric said,
it’s the first time that they’ve tried this. I also want to thank
Xander Harcourt, the library program coordinator
for the National Book Festival. And of course, my
fellow super-users, I trust that they also had
to suffer through jokes about wearing capes
all week long. [ Laughter ] So, my name is Athena Angelos, and almost 30 years ago
I would have told you with no uncertainty that
I am not a library person. I equated libraries with nothing
but books, and to be honest, I’m a painfully slow and
pretty distracted reader. Ever since I was a kid, I really
preferred well illustrated books, pictures speaking to me more memorably
than words on a page. It’s no surprise that in
college I majored in fine art with an emphasis on photography,
and I related to the person on the right in that
image there. [ Laughter ] Fortunately for me, the Library of Congress has a great
deal more than books. Today I’ll explain how I’ve
actually made a living working with a lot of library people,
exploring the incredibly rich and well cared for resources. An impressive amount of Library of Congress material has
been digitized and is online, but fortunately for me and
other professional researchers, there’s still vast portions that
can only be viewed in person. When I began my career
as a picture researcher, I’d never heard of
the profession before, but the job description was, “do
you want to go find old photos at the Library of Congress?” And I couldn’t resist that. My first client was a producer of heavily illustrated
US history books, sort of like the
Time Life series, if some of you remember those. And that’s my shelf
at home with some of the books I’ve
worked on over the years. In my first few years, with a
lot of help from library staff, I learned how to identify,
locate, check copyright when necessary, and order
reproductions of images for these series of books. They covered colonial
America, the Civil War, the American West,
US presidents, and my favorite series,
Remarkable Women. In addition to photographs, I
learned how to access prints and posters, illustrations
and cartoons, architectural drawings, advertisements, and
other ephemera. And most of this material
that I just showed you is from the prints and
photographs division alone. So, the library has a
separate section devoted to prints and photographs. And because letters, diaries,
maps, sheet music, newspapers, magazines, film stills, and copyright records all
provide wonderful primary source material that can also be used
as pictorial matter in articles, books, and documentaries,
my research has allowed me to explore other
divisions of the library, including rare books, geography
and maps, manuscripts division, performing arts, motion
picture and recorded sound, and of course, the
general collections. So, I do have to deal
with books sometimes. People often ask how
potential clients find me. Well, fortunately the library
maintains several lists of freelance researchers. I’ve also been very lucky,
fortunate, to have been hired by the library’s own
publishing office. Over the years I’ve worked
with incredibly smart, talented writers and editors to
produce the very high caliber of books that one would expect
from the Library of Congress, and there’s some of
the books I worked on. We also did calendars, and
postcards, and knowledge cards. The last book project that
I served as researcher and image editor for with the
library was an illustrated history of the American
experience in World War 1, entitled “America and the Great
War,” by author Peggy Wagner, and co-published
with Bloomsbury. Working with reference
staff, curators, collections specialists,
and many others, Peggy and I included over
250 visuals consisting of photographs, lithographs,
drawings, maps, posters, advertisements, and
even one baseball card. One of the funnest
projects I worked on with the library was
called “Football Nation: Four Hundred Years
of America’s Game.” It was published
in 2013 by Abrams. Author Susan Reyburn
cheerfully requested that together we simply locate
everything in the Library of Congress that
related to football. We had a few years, but
not that long really. Working from her well-researched
and snappy text, and many lists of must-have images, I think
the book successfully met the mission of the publishing
office, which is to show off with as much variety and
novelty the remarkably diverse collections of the library. We also just had a lot of fun. And here’s just a
few of my favorites. The variety of clients and
of subjects of my research, and our ever changing
information technologies have kept me happily engaged
with this work. I sometimes describe my
job as treasure hunting, and it’s incredibly satisfying to help people access
these treasures to enrich their creative
and scholarly passions. I can’t overstate my
gratitude and dependence on so many library staff members who for many years have
helped me do what I do. I wouldn’t be here
today as a super-user without their collections,
acumen, support, and friendship. Oh, there’s one more
football guy, and that’s me and the author, Susan Reyburn, goofing around after
we finished the book. Last year I spent several
months finding still pictures, mostly of celebrities,
to be incorporated in a forthcoming
five-part documentary series about the live and times
of author/actor Orson Bean. I wonder how many
of you even remember who Orson Bean was– yay! He’s actually still alive, and one of the interesting
things he did that I hadn’t known before is
he founded an alternative school for like middle school kids in
New York City in the 1960’s, and some of that story was
documented by Look Magazine, which is one of the really
wonderful collections in the prints and
photographs division. The library has all of
the original negatives and transparencies
from Look Magazine. And a current project that I’m
working on is for Ellen Scott, who’s a UCLA film professor. She’s conducting a
really thorough survey of American slavery as
it’s been depicted in film. Part of my work for Ellen has
been to locate over 400 records from microfilm of silent
era film copyright records. The vast majority of these
films no longer exist, but the sometimes
very detailed synopses and promotional materials, included with the
copyright registration files, contain a plethora of
information for analysis. That’s one of the ads
that was with the record. Last of all, I want
to share this. I was recently talking
to a friend and I was excitedly
describing my work, and he remarked how nice it was
to hear someone speak so proudly about where they work. And he also noted that
when I was talking about the collections, I kept
saying “we have, we have,” and while I’ve been a contractor
at the library off and on for many years, I’ve never
been an official employee, I’m a freelance person, but I was still bragging
about what we have. And while the library
exists to serve congress, it really is our library. And so I hope you’ve been
inspired today and will come and explore what’s
there for all of us. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Alright, next up,
Mr. Matthew Gilmore. Please give it up for Mr.
Matthew Gilmore, please. [ Applause ] Yeah. I got you.>>Alright. Alright. So, the title of mine
is learning to love the Library of Congress, making best use
of our national treasure. So, there’s some ideas kind
of buried in that title which we can think
about and talk about. Okay. How I started
to love the library. I was a librarian years
ago, a different library, the public library, and I was
really devoted to that job. So, I didn’t do research out
on my own, I did for research for people, helping them. But I didn’t do research
independently of that, really. But then I left that library
and went in else in career. And so, a few years ago I
began writing a monthly column on Washington DC history for a little newspaper called
The In-Towner, it’s online, and so originally I
thought, hey, I can do this through online sources, so much
is online now, Google is online, there’s lots of books online,
that’ll really suffice. I was writing I think like
2000 words, so, sizeable, but not huge, not
really in depth, trying to hit something kind
of interesting and unique about Washington DC history. But then writing about
Washington DC history I ran into things like
legal questions. So yeah, this law was passed
at this point in time. You try and google that
stuff you don’t really get, it’s tedious and difficult to
find the legislative history, and what the law was actually
called, and when it was passed, and when it was signed,
so I was like, well, there is a law library at the
Library of Congress, and hey, you know what, the Library
of Congress is open late in the evening, and
it’s worth my while to actually go do
some real research for these columns rather than
just trying to rely upon online. Let’s go to real
resources, better resources, more detailed resources, and
find the real information, and maybe even, if I have
to, talk to a librarian. If I have to, if I have to. So, I kept going on and I
wanted to write stories, I wanted to write unique
stories, I didn’t want to repeat all the stuff
other people had written, and if I did repeat it I
wanted to not rewrite it, but clarify it, have a better
understanding of what happened. So, that meant going to places
like the manuscripts division. So, again, there’s lots, and
lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of resources
related to Washington DC in the manuscript division, and
if you want to find, you know, what President Wilson thought
about something, or Taft, or a member of the
Commission of Fine Arts, or any of these people,
their materials are there at the Library of Congress
in the manuscripts division, and some of that stuff may
be published elsewhere, but there is something
really useful about seeing the actual letter,
you get something from it. So, of course as I’m doing this
column I need to illustrate it, so I found– I still use
mostly the online prints and photographs catalogue,
I’m going for that because if I ever decide to
combine these into a book, I don’t want to have to do
too much copyright research, and I kind of have a bigger
depository of photographs, lots of material, again,
related to Washington DC, so let’s take advantage of it. And then, again,
this is a little bit like what Athena’s saying, so
I’m starting to dig deeper, and deeper and deeper, and
there’s more and more things at the Library of
Congress to make use of to tell interesting stories. So, you go to the serials
division and you find original, you know, you can find original
periodicals from the 1890’s, 1900’s, and some of
those are online, but in many cases you’ve spent
so much time trying to figure out what volume and
page and whatever in the HathiTrust catalogue, you might as well have just
called it up from the Library of Congress and scanned
it yourself. I hit the rare books
division a couple times. Again, maps, I obviously used
some maps in my stories, and so, again, most of those are online. Well, most of the ones
I’ve used are online, so that I have access to them
and can be writing at midnight and have access to the map. So then you’re saying,
well, Washington DC history, that’s fairly discreet and well
contained, and why do you need to go to the Library of
Congress to do research on that, can’t you find stuff elsewhere? Well, several answers to
that, but topics I’ve covered, so I’ve done about 40 columns, so that’s over about
four years now, and so I’ve covered all
different kinds of topics, so I started off
with the invention of the paper straw
in Washington DC. It was invented here. I repost it every so often now
because it’s kind of timely because we’re talking about
plastic straws and paper straws. And originally, before
there were paper straws, what did you use? You used a straw, a
real, usually rye, which of course just
disintegrated, you know, so you had to suck your
drink down pretty fast, probably not the best thing. So, then I moved
on to lime kilns. So, there were lime kilns on
Rock Creek in Foggy Bottom, and then when they
built Dumbarton Bridge, they had to extend Q Street
and there was a house there, no one had ever intended
Q Street to go through, that was not part of
anybody’s plan, not on any map, so when they decided to extend
it, they had to move this house. So, wow, I hadn’t read much
about the moving of this house, and there’s all kinds of
resources, not just Library of Congress, some like it,
Department of Consumer Affairs that show the actual
maps that were used, and in fact the owner had
purchased the house knowing it was going to have to be moved,
he still sued about it, it’s DC, so they sued not wanting to move
it, and also sued to get money, you know, compensation
for moving it. And then I wrote about
underground wires, the YMCA, the history of that,
the Albany Penitentiary because DC would sent their
prisoners up to Albany, starting with President
Lincoln they were sent up there, DC did not have a penitentiary
itself, and Albany had the kind of world class penitentiary, so
we sent our prisoners up there. And then the Lincoln Monument,
which is Judiciary Square, the police headquarters
building across the way, which was supposed to be part of a much bigger complex
called the Municipal Center, which was going to parallel
the Federal Triangle. The Washington Canal, noise
regulation, because I had worked at DCRA, so I knew a little
bit about noise regulation, airships and zeppelins. So, when I did noise
regulations, someone, they would do polls, what
noises annoy you, you know, to the general public. And the last one, one
person said deaf mutes, which was kind of like, okay. But right above that
was zeppelins. I’m like, zeppelins in
Washington in the 1920’s, I really don’t know anything
about that, that sounds fun. So, basically it’s
taking these things that either we know a little
bit about or nothing about and just trying to tell the
origin story of these things. So, Arlington Memorial Bridge,
street parking having to do with the greenspaces along
the street, and houses and how far you can build
out, not car parking, the introduction of apartment
buildings into Washington DC in the 1880’s from New York
City developers, so the creation of Potomac Park, introduction
of zoning based upon ideas from New York City, so there’s
a continuing theme there. So, these are all kinds
of things that I wrote about that are Washington DC
history, so I’ve got another 20 or so which I’m not
going to rattle through. But I don’t think I could have
done a good job covering any of these things without
making use of the resources at the Library of Congress in a
serious substantive kind of way. Like I said, I used all those
different reading rooms, online resources, and I’ll
step forward on that as well. So, part of how I learned to love the library is
I found the right space. So, the science reading room in
the Adams building is the space to do research in the library. So, one, you don’t have
to check your stuff in, you can hold on to it all. It’s open until 9:30
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, it’s open on Saturdays, regular
hours during the other days. So, and there, forgot to put
it in there, you can call up anything from
general collections. So, if it’s a specialized
reading room, you can’t get it, unless there’s a duplicate
in the general collections, but in the general collections
you can get anything. So, the other day I
was finishing a column on smoke pollution in Washington
and Teddy Roosevelt in 1905. Okay, there’s a story
behind that, coming soon. So that was partly it was a
very strict law Teddy Roosevelt wanted enforced, he wrote some
letters, presented the press, and one of the things that
closed was the ice factor. It’s like, ice factory
in Washington, I want to know more about that. So, I went into the online
catalogue and I looked up ice manufacturing and I found
some books on ice manufacturing, so I called those books up. So, probably not my next
column, but down the road. So, again, you know, there’s
nowhere else in Washington, except maybe an academic
library, where you can do this, where you can have access
to this depth of resources, and I think it’s
important what I do, so I think it’s important
the library be there and be available. I put a note here to mention that the library
can be intimidating, that was partly why I
hadn’t used it before, a few years ago, too much. Walking up to the library,
getting past security, which is there, you know,
security, they’re serious guys. Once you get to know them,
they get to know you, but first off, it’s
intimidating. And then what reading room
do you go to, the checking in of materials for
certain reading rooms, so you have to put
your stuff away, and you can’t wear a
baseball in manuscripts, and these various
kinds of things. Those just throw people off. And then actually,
okay, you get somewhere, how do I find anything,
how do I call for anything, how do I get a library
card, all of those kinds of things are just not
really transparent. You know, at a public library,
it’s a little bit easier, but the Library of Congress– and there’s reasons for all
the rules, there’s reasons for all the procedures,
well-known, but it’s just not a really
transparent experience when you walk up to it. Even for me as a librarian,
and I’ve used all kinds of libraries, it was just
like, well, do I really want to deal with all that? And thinking about all the
stuff that’s available, I said yes I do want
to deal with all that. So, so much of the content,
there’s so much online content, and so much of that online
content is only available at the Library of
Congress itself. I was talking with the people
downstairs in acquisitions and I said, you know, do
you do online materials too? And they said yes they do. And I said, well,
the problem is, we don’t know what
we don’t know. That link to loc.gov/pubrr,
which gives you links to lists of resources, isn’t
available on the public web, you have to be inside
the library to find it, so you have to know to know how
to find it, and then you have to find your way into it and
then search it and everything. And I did a little
calculation the other day, and I found that there are
slightly over 1600 databases, and almost 1,000 of
them are available only at the Library of Congress. And I know why, it’s copyright
and all those reasons, and some other databases
are only available in the individual reading
rooms, like west law and others, so we understand that, but if
you don’t know to even think about it or ask, you know,
everything is online, well you need to go to
the Library of Congress and use things there,
you need to be there. So, I just want to reiterate,
like Athena had said, all the different
kinds of resources, there’s all different kinds of
materials, and I just wanted to say that for my
purposes, I used to work at the public library, so I
know about the public library, I know the resources, I know
the changes that were made over the past few years, and
basically that means the Library of Congress is the public
library for Washington DC. So, I think it is, in many ways,
by the general public at least, overlooked, underappreciated,
and definitely underused. I’ve been in there, I’ve
had reading rooms to myself, I don’t exactly mind
that, that can be fun, but I’d much rather have some
other people there with me because I want the
hours to stay late. I have to work during the
day, I need the late hours so that I can use it, and
I’m trying to make the case that I have to be there, you
can say things are digital, but I have to be there to use
them, so you have to be open when I can use you,
and vice versa. So, it was basically like
use the Library of Congress or lose it, we might
lose those late hours, so thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Alright, ladies
and gentlemen, we have one more panel
member, please give it up for Mr. Michael Hill, and after that we’ll do
questions and answers. [ Applause ]>>Good afternoon,
everybody, and thank you so much for being here. It’s a pleasure to be here as
all of us are communicating to you to talk about an
institution and the people who occupy and work at that
institution that have helped me, and all of us, and so many
other researchers and historians and so forth over the years. I, myself, have been truly
fortunate over the last 40 years to do something that I love,
historical research and writing. And with that, I’ve had the good
fortune to work with a variety of historians, some of whom that
you may know, David McCullough, John Mitchum, Evan Thomas,
Nathaniel Philbrick, and Michael Beschloss. And with that, I’ve been equally
fortunate to have the resources and the people of the Library
of Congress to draw upon truly as a partner in that work. It has been, for me,
over the last 40 years, the Library of Congress for me has been the gift
that keeps on giving. And what do I mean by that? Well, I’d like to give you some
examples and talk a little bit about some of the people
that I’ve gotten to know and the resources and assistance
that this institution can give to professional writers,
historians, or just people who are just curious about life
and history and how the Library of Congress and its resources
and people can be partners. The first example
is I was helping out David McCullough do a book
called “The Greater Journey” about Americans in Paris
in the 19th century, and the book is all set through
the eyes and words of Americans as they traveled through
Paris throughout the century, and when he got to the
Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, he said how are we going to tell
this through an American’s eyes and so forth, because
everybody probably left. So, he said find out who the
diplomat was there, so I went and found out that
a fellow by the name of Elihu Washburn was our
minister, the equivalent of the ambassador to
France at that time, so lo and behold I found
out that his collection of papers were at the
manuscript reading room. So, at that point I
hightailed it up and met with Jeff Flannery, the head
of the manuscript reading room, and Athena and I were
talking beforehand is that it’s this wonderful thing
that whenever either of us, and I’m sure other people,
undertake a project, the first thing you do is you
go up and see Jeff Flannery and ask what he has, or
what suggestions he has, he’s been an amazing
resource and friend for probably over 30 years. At any rate, so I
went up to look at the Elihu Washburn
collection, and lo and behold what we
found was a treasure trove of his original letters and
correspondence, both personal and diplomatic, that
he was writing from Paris during the outbreak
of the war in the siege and the commune, and the thing
that made it so extraordinary is that virtually every
other diplomat left when the war broke out, and
he was one of the few to stay, to protect some Americans
who did stay, but also to help protect
some of the Germans and the Parisians and so forth. Not only did we find his
letters and correspondence, but interspersed, as we
started going through, we found that he kept a
diary and a journal talking about his personal experiences
and what he was going through on a day-to-day basis. That material formed one chapter
in David’s Greater Journey book, and then as a spinoff of that,
Simon and Schuster decided to publish the entire diary and
letters that we found there, which I co-authored and
David was kind enough to do a forward to. Also tied, and this deals with
another division of the Library of Congress, is newspaper
reading room, which is an incredible resource. And when he was doing
the Greater Journey book, one of the tools that
historians, and biographers, and so forth, use is
of course newspapers because it can provide you
with eyewitness accounts, but also those little details or
color that you might not be able to find anywhere else. So, we wanted to try
to find a newspaper that could help us find
out what was happening in Paris at the time. So, I went and talked
to one of the archivists at the newspaper reading room, and they said well we have this
newspaper called Galignani’s Messenger, which was an English
newspaper published in Paris in the 19th and early 20th
century, which was in English and it was provided for
English travelers or Americans who might be coming through
who didn’t speak French or read French, or whatever,
and it was an absolute gold mine which provided so many details and little rich moments
throughout that greater journeys book. And I asked the archivist that
I was talking to at one point, I said how many people have
ever used this Galignani’s Messenger before? And he said, I don’t know,
I’ve been here for 30 years, and nobody’s ever used
it prior to this time. So, it shows you those little
jewels and elements of gold that are buried, as
everybody else has talked to, in the Library of
Congress, you just have to be there to find them. Another example of how
archivists can be a partner in the writing process,
or the creative process, and this also is another lesson
that I have learned very early on is that a lot of people
will come into the Library of Congress and not want to talk
about what they’re working on, they feel a sense of
proprietary about it. David McCullough and other
historians have always said tell everybody what you’re
working on. Perfect example was that I was
helping Evan Thomas do a book about Bobby Kennedy, and I was up in the manuscript
reading room talking to Jeff Flannery one time and
talking to him about the book, and he said, well,
have you looked at the John Bartlow
Martin papers? And I said I don’t
know anything about it. He goes, well there’s a
campaign diary in there that he kept during
the ’68 campaign from the beginning all the way through Bobby Kennedy’s
assassination, and I said I didn’t
know anything about it. So, of course, I
pulled it right away, Xeroxed it off, he
was extraordinary. It is, as far as I
was able to determine, the only inside the campaign
diary that’s ever come to light that was ever done of the
Bobby Kennedy campaign, and Even was able to
use nice little elements from that for his book. Another quick example about,
again, how the archivists and the curators can be
partners in your process. I was helping John
Mitchum do a book about, one of his early books,
about Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill,
and we found that Pamela Harriman’s papers
were at the Library of Congress, but they had been unprocessed. So, we were able to
negotiate, very specifically through the curator there,
to process a specific portion of the collection of
Pamela Harriman’s letters that she wrote during World War
2, and that’s an example where, again, the curators and the
archivists, if you’re serious and you really want
to try and do it, they will do whatever they can
within the rules and so forth to try and help you, and John
I know used some examples of that from there. Just three other quick
examples of other divisions. Athena talked a little about
prints and photographs, which is extraordinary, and
anytime I’ve used on a project and it gets to illustrations
and they say, well, what should we do? The first thing I always say is
go to the Library of Congress, prints and photographs,
digital collection online. It’s extraordinary what they’ve
produced up there, first of all, secondly the quality is
terrific, and thirdly is that it doesn’t cost
you a penny. And a lot of people make the
mistake, and I’ve stumbled across people do that, make the
mistake that they go to Corbis or Getty, or one of the other
[inaudible], and they pay $250 for an image that if you’d
gone to the Library of Congress and seen it there you
can get either that image or a similar image and
download it directly, high quality, publishable
quality. Geography and maps is
another perfect example, and the collection that they
have there is extraordinary, and the people there
are extraordinary. David McCullough 1776 book,
there’s several maps there of Boston during the
revolutionary period and I believe of the
New York campaigns that were actually reproduced from their digital
collection online that made it into the book. And the last is the
performing arts music division, which again is extraordinary, and one of the things I love is
walking into that reading room, and one of the first things,
I assume it’s still there, that you see off to the left
is Sergei Rachmaninoff’s desk that he used when he was doing
his work, and every time I see that I get goose pimples because
it’s unbelievable to think that that desk is there. And there was one
project I was working on with David McCullough’s
daughter, she was working a wonderful book
about letters of great Americans to their children, and I went through the Leonard
Bernstein collection and found some very cute little
notes that he was writing to his children,
which were wonderful. And the last thing
I’d like to refer to is the great wonderful
main reading room in the Jefferson building, it’s one of the most
extraordinary wonders in the world, and I’ve
been doing this research for almost 40 years,
and every time I go in there I consider myself
how lucky I am to do what I do and to have this place to
go to, to do what I do. And so I encourage all of you,
even if you’re just interested or if you’re working on
a book, take advantage of this wonderful resource and the wonderful
people that are there. Thank you very much. [ Applause ]>>Ladies and gentlemen, time
flies when you’re having fun. I saw the wrap-up sign come up. But if you have any questions
for us, any questions for us, please come up and speak to us,
we’re here, we like pictures or anything like that, but
I see someone to the mic, so we’ll take a quick
question, if that’s okay.>>Very brief comment on–>>Hold on, my friend, hold one. No, I see you. If you can go to the mic so
then everybody can hear you, you’ll be the second question, and then we can go ahead
and– thank you, my friend.>>Those were wonderful
talks, very inspiring for low level users like me, but
I have to make one correction. The columnist of the [inaudible]
said it is kind of deteriorating or reprehensive if you
want to get a readers card. Getting a readers card
is extremely simple, you need to be 16 years old, you have to have a
government-issued picture ID, if you are not a US citizen
you can take any passport, and it takes a few minutes,
you can pre-register online, so don’t let that be
a deterrent to you. If you want to access the
biggest cookbook collection in the world because you have
a special dinner, go there. [ Laughter ] [ Applause ]>>And you can get a card
in the Madison building, if I’m not mistaken, you
can get a readers card in the Madison building. And the Jefferson also? Thank you very much,
thank you very much. Alright, my friend,
it’s on you, sir.>>Hello, okay. [inaudible] still there
from a police dog, and I was at the Law Library of Congress during the magazine
article using whatever computer that was, and you know,
the first article so I put in police dogs, and
it was like no hits, you know, try something else. It was obvious it had been
hacked, the key people to do research, say for police
dog bites kind of stuff, and I guess what I’m saying is
do you have any recommendations for like rogue elements within
the LOC that, you know– this is an example, why
aren’t there any kind of like, at the main reading room across
from it in that computer room, why aren’t there any like guards
for people using the internet, if you want to call it that,
like screens to keep people from eyeballing your passwords to your email and
various websites? It’s an identify thief’s
dream, the computer lab across from the main
reading room, so.>>That is a question that
I honestly couldn’t answer, I wouldn’t even attempt
to represent the Library of Congress in that fashion. But that sounds like a
concern that you have.>>Yes, it is.>>We’re open–>>Do you have anyone else I
could ask, any recommendations?>>I sure can, but if you
don’t mind, can I speak to you on the side about that? If that’s okay.>>Absolutely, absolutely.>>Okay, thank you,
I’ll definitely give you that one-on-one attention, sir, make sure we get
that answer for you. Okay? Alright, I appreciate
you, I appreciate you, alright. Anyone else? Anyone else? Bueller? Bueller? I saw one more hand, one
more hand and we’ll be going. And while she’s working
her way to the mic, again, I’m with the copyright office, where you can find us is
copyright.gov, 202-707-3000, and our last question or
comment for the evening.>>Good, how are you?>>I’m fine, I’m fine.>>So, my daughter
participated in history day, National History Day, when
she was in high school, and I was just wondering, I was thinking this would
have been a great talk for her to hear before she did all that. Do you have kids in that
National History Day competition that come to seek
your resources?>>See, this is family, I love
it, someone said I have someone. Can you speak up a little
bit, if you don’t mind?>>Oh, it was almost 20 years
ago now, but I had a friend in high school who drove all the
way out here from [inaudible].>>Okay. Almost 20 years ago
now she said it was happening. So, again, if you can
just step off to the side and I’ll make sure I can
get that answer for you. Alright? Alright, cool, cool. Ladies and gentlemen, thank
you very much, please give it up for the panel, please give
it up for our interpreters, and especially, you
didn’t hear my poem before, and I saw your fingers
really moving, really moving, so I thank you very, very much. Alright, any questions, just
come on up and talk to us. Thank you very much,
ladies and gentlemen.

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