Library of Congress
Carla Hayden Wants to Make It Easier for You to Hang Out at the Library of Congress
"Everybody can be a scholar."

Hayden, 64, has a tall order: to bring a library with 3,100 employees, an annual budget of $642 million, and a collection of more than 162 million items, most of which have not yet been digitized, into the digital age.


Yesterday, the Library of Congress digitized a treasure trove of materials from Carl Sagan’s life—including early Cosmos drafts, NASA proposals, correspondences with Neil deGrasse Tyson, audio recordings, and over 30 minutes of home movie footage.

In lieu of this momentous occasion, they’ve also created a showcase of over 300 historic items exploring connections between the legacies of Carl, Galileo, H.G. Wells, and many others.

Discover “Our Place in the Cosmos


These are five of the seven pictures Dorothea Lange took of Florence Thompson in Nipomo, Calif. in February, 1936. Thompson was a pea-picker and mother of seven children. Ever since Lange took her iconic photograph of Thompson – shown above in the best-known form, and at bottom in un-modified form (note the thumb in the lower right) – she’s been known as the Migrant Mother. These are five of the seven known Lange photographs of Thompson. Each is in the collection of the Library of Congress. 

Tonight most PBS stations will premiere an “American Masters” documentary on the life and work of Dorothea Lange. Titled “Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning,” the film looks at Lange’s life from her upbringing outside New York City, to her emergence as a major American photographer. Lange is best-known for her work chronicling the Dust Bowl era, but her oeuvre includes much more, including pictures of Depression-era labor strife, the internment of Japanese-Americans and early environmentalist documentary photography. Such was Lange’s stature that just after she died in 1966 the Museum of Modern Art devoted just its sixth retrospective of a photographer’s career to her work. 

Taylor was the lead guest on last week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast. She and host Tyler Green discussed the documentary and Lange’s life and work.

How to listen to this week’s show: Listen to or download this week’s program on SoundCloud, via direct-link mp3, or subscribe to The MAN Podcast (for free) at:
Obama's new Librarian of Congress nominee is a rip-snortin', copyfightin', surveillance-hatin' no-foolin' LIBRARIAN
The outgoing Librarian of Congress was a technophobe who refused all gadgets more advanced than a fax machine; he was in charge of the nation’s copyright, and hence its IT policy.

The outgoing Librarian of Congress was a technophobe who refused all gadgets more advanced than a fax machine; he was in charge of the nation’s copyright, and hence its IT policy.

27 years later, he’s finally going, and after a lot of speculation, the president has announced his nominee: the wonderful Carla Hayden.  Hayden is an actual librarian, she fought the Patriot Act, lobbies for open access, and the RIAA hates her.

Next up: watch for a move to rip the US Copyright Office (which now gets to make rules on things like whether the DMCA prohibits you from using generic insulin in your insulin pump) out of the Library of Congress, relocating it in Congress where it can be directly overseen by the Congressjerks who have been on the entertainment industry’s take since their first campaign.

If the Senate approves her (hahahahahahaha), she will be both the first woman and the first African American to be the nation’s librarian.

Cory Doctorow has no chill.  (And the RIAA is extremely passive-aggressive.)

Video at link.