So I just have to get all fan-girl here because the Library of Congress is so amazing. I’ve been there several times, but today we got to go behind the scenes and really experience some of the library’s coolest places. I have a ton of other blog posts that I meant to write first, but I had to get this one out. This is one of those DC Days (TM) that was part of a DC Week (TM) as an Einstein Fellow. Amazing!
First a bit of an overview. We started the day learning about using primary sources with students as phenomena to spark their interest. Then we toured the rare book room, the preservation lab, ate lunch, went to the Science and Technology Reading room and toured the stacks, and then had a short tour of the Jefferson Building. Then some of us went into THE main reading room, which up to now I’ve just viewed from the above gallery. All you need is your library card—so amazing!
Some information about the actual library—the library has three buildings around the Capitol, the Jefferson, Madison, and Adams building. The more ornate and elaborate one that most people visit is the Jefferson Building. The other two buildings house collections, BOOKS, various reading rooms, etc. The Madison Building, incidentally, has a great cafeteria where random House members eat… I saw Adam Schiff there today, NBD. The Capitol, House and Senate office buildings, and the library buildings are all connected via underground tunnels. In addition to the three main buildings, the Library of Congress has many warehouses and buildings in Maryland and Virginia to house their massive collections of at least 150 million items.
Also, educators, check out all of the LOC’s teacher resources here. So many cool things, including collections of items that are already curated for specific events/topics. Not just books, but pictures, engravings, and much more.
Here are a few to whet your interest:
I believe I have already established that I am a HUGE history buff and, in particular, are fascinated by the civil war. Here’s a collection of amazing resources about the lead up to the Civil War from 1850-1861.
Oh man, another one… I can’t help it… here’s one of Civil War Portraits.
Ok, science! Changing models of the solar system, here.
And finally, Scientific Data: observing, recording, and communicating information here.
So, bear with me, I took a ton of photos and most of the information is going to be found in the captions, so click through and read about our adventure today! Slide Show today… because there are just too many images. To see the captions, hover over the image as you scroll through.