LC LABS LETTER
A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team
As it did for many people across the country and all over the world, the month of March brought new ways of working and communicating and challenging, complex circumstances for the LC Labs team. We found our way through that time by setting out to discover even more ways our work can be useful and relevant to our colleagues and to all users of the digital Library of Congress.
This April edition of the newsletter will feature a round-up of interesting blog posts, announcements, and publications as well as a list of things you can do or read remotely during this time when the “digital” is coming to define so much of our professional and personal lives. We hope you find it interesting!
If you have responses or questions to share, as always, feel free to reach out to us directly at LC-Labs@loc.gov!
Things to Do
Get a sneak peek of all the historic images contained in Chronicling America
Although Library buildings are closed to the public, projects like Newspaper Navigator are busy unlocking even more digital content for members of the public to access from home!
At 2 pm on May 7, Innovator in Residence Ben Lee will host a virtual data jam to explore, research, and play with hundreds of images—including maps, advertisements, comics, and more!—from historical newspapers dating all the way back to the 1800s.
Register to participate remotely and find more details about how to call in. To read more about the project and how Ben extracted all the visual content from more than 16 MILLION pages of historical newspapers, check out this blog post from the Signal.
Learn more about the Innovator in Residence program and Ben’s project here https://labs.loc.gov/work/experiments/newspaper-navigator/
A New labs.loc.gov Experience
We’ve updated labs.loc.gov! Let us know what you think.
Things to Read
From LC Labs
Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group Report
In April, the Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group Report was released to the public for the first time. This report, authored by the Library of Congress Digital Scholarship Working Group in 2017, details case studies of current practices for supporting digital scholarship and unmet demand. The report also outlines three major recommendations to expand support for digital scholarship at the Library of Congress, which are to invest in collection readiness, build institutional capacity, and expand user services. For further context about this report and the context of the Library of Congress see Abbey’s blog post on the Signal.
Download the report from the LC Labs website! https://labs.loc.gov/static/labs/meta/DHWorkingGroupPaper-v1.0.pdf
The Latest from the Signal blog:
- Newspaper Navigator Surfaces Treasure Trove of Historic Images by Ben Lee
- Digital Scholarship Working Group Report: Published! by Abigail Potter
- Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Web Archiving at the Library of Congress by Abbie Grotke
- More Open eBooks: Routinizing Open Access eBook Workflows by Kristy Darby
- PDF is Here to Stay: Archiving with the Portable Document Format by Kate Murray, Duff Johnson, and Kevin De Vorsey.
From across the Library of Congress:
Here are some resources that may help you as you plan for remote learning:
- By the People: you and your students can transcribe primary sources directly from the Library of Congress digital collections. Start now at https://crowd.loc.gov/ or by visiting the project’s Educators’ page.
- LOC 3D: view Abraham Lincoln’s right hand online as a 3D model—you can even download the file to 3D print it!
- Resources from the LC Learning & Innovation Office: Follow @TeachingLC for the latest.
- Access the Library’s Primary Source Sets! Easy-to-use intros to frequently-taught topics, with photos, maps, music & more, along with teaching ideas: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/
- Discover central access to primary source sets, lesson plans, and historical context of Library collections: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/
- Find educational methods for engaging students with primary sources in the virtual classroom or independently: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/
- Take advantage of online office hours hosted by the Learning & Innovation Office: https://loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/office-hours
- Play around with these datasets, browse digital collections, or teach yourself a new skill using Digital Scholarship 101: Six Tools to Get You Started.
- LC for Robots: contains tutorials, bulk download datasets, and access to various Library of Congress API’s including the recently released dataset containing Dinosaur Comics!
For the curious:
- Explore these cool audio digital collections from the Library of Congress:
- Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature on Tape—includes readings by renowned poets such as Audre Lorde, Denise Levertov, and Robert Frost.
- Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s performance at the National Book Festival
- Archive of Hispanic Poetry on Tape –includes readings by prominent writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Jorge Luis Borges, and Pablo Neruda.
- LC Engage! Features engaging digital content such as Dav Pilkey At Home and Grab the Mic video series with Jason Reynolds.
- The Poetry at Home series a weekly video series featuring four of Library of Congress U.S. Poets Laureate sharing and reflecting on the subject of “home.”
Note: this blog post was updated with a revised link on May 5, 2020.