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Early Pictorial Maps of Asia and Europe from the Hauslab-Liechtenstein Collection

By Tim St. Onge

The following post is by Anna Balaguer, a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

This summer, I have the opportunity to participate in the Library of Congress Junior Fellows program, working in the Geography and Map Division. I am working with cartographic specialist Ryan Moore to process the Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection, which contains some 10,000 printed map sheets from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, assembled by the Austrian cartographer and general Franz Ritter von Hauslab and later acquired by Prince Jordan II of Liechtenstein. While going through these maps, I came upon two pictorial maps (maps which display a territory artistically, rather than solely technically) that I found particularly interesting, and decided to examine the pieces in greater detail. Pictorial maps have existed since ancient times; however, in the medieval and Renaissance eras, zoomorphic (animals as maps) and anthropomorphic (people as maps) maps became increasingly popular in Europe. Both of the maps displayed below are thought to have been created around 1581 by Heinrich Bünting.

Asia Seunda Pars Terrae in Forma Pegasi, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Asia Seunda Pars Terrae in Forma Pegasi, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The first map, in the shape of the flying horse Pegasus, is titled Asia Seunda Pars Terrae in Forma Pegasi.  The inscription on the front of the map draws on mythology and provides what appears to be an incantation to Bellerophon, the Hellenic hero famed for slaying monsters while riding on Pegasus. The map shows the landmass of the present-day Middle East and Southeast Asia but leaves out Japan, Korea, and much of modern-day China. This omission may have been a result of a lack of knowledge on the part of the cartographer; however, as the exploration of these lands by Europeans occurred well before the map was thought to have been made, it seems intentional. The text on the reverse of the map also contains interesting commentary on Quinsai (modern-day Hangzhou, China), the single Chinese city on the map, which the cartographer put on the tail of Pegasus. The key describes Quinsai in seemingly mythological terms, stating that it is “the biggest city in the entire world /and one finds in it twelve hundred bridges.”

Europa Prima Pars Terrae in Forma Virginis, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Europa Prima Pars Terrae in Forma Virginis, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

According to former Geography and Map Division Chief Walter Ristow’s 1978 article on the collection, the anthropomorphic map, shown above, depicts Europe in the shape of Queen Elizabeth I of England. It is titled Europa Prima Pars Terrae in Forma Virginis. The choice to show Europe as a queen, and decisions of how to incorporate specific areas into the thematic image, may lend insight into the political orientation of the mapmaker. Spain is portrayed as the crown, head, and neck of the queen. The left arm represents Italy, with the royal orb in the queen’s hand symbolizing Sicily. The right arm shows Denmark. Modern-day Germany and France make up the torso, while the lower half of the queen’s dress depicts the landmass of what is today Eastern Europe, the Balkan states, and Greece. The queen’s jewelry and the decorative components of her dress depict the various mountain ranges, rivers, and other geographic features of Europe. The narrative key describes these elements in great detail, inserting commentary and using metaphor to describe aspects of the image to the observer.

Both maps possess a short Latin inscription on the illustrated side, which is supplemented by a narrative key in German, printed in an older typeface known as Fraktur, on the reverse.

Reverse side of Asia Secunda Pars Terrae in Forma Pegasi, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Reverse side of Asia Secunda Pars Terrae in Forma Pegasi, 1581. Hauslab-Liechtenstein Map Collection. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

These maps represent a small portion of the diverse and expansive Hauslab-Liechtenstein map collection. I have greatly enjoyed working with the collection and am eager to explore its contents further while also making the collection more accessible for researchers.

Scientists use satellites to measure vital underground water resources

California's Central Valley, with the rugged hills of the Coast Ranges in the background.

The availability of water from underground aquifers is vital to the basic needs of more than 1.5 billion people worldwide.

In recent decades, however, the over-pumping of groundwater, combined with drought, has caused some aquifers to permanently lose their essential storage capacity.

With the hope of providing better tools to water resource managers to keep aquifers healthy, scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with Arizona State ...

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  • July 19th 2018 at 15:00

Scientists fly above wildfires this summer to clarify chemistry of smoke

A burning forest and smoke clouds rising above.

On August 11, 2018, the WE-CAN team will host a research aircraft media event at the Boise Airport, featuring two aircraft: the NSF/NCAR C-130 and the University of Wyoming King Air.

This summer, a four-engine cargo plane laden with scientists and sophisticated equipment will make flights straight into hazy smoke from Western wildfires.

The flights will be the largest, most ...

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  • July 19th 2018 at 14:00

Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Missions within VHP’s Female Veterans Collections

By Megan Harris

The following is a guest post by Lisa Gomez, a Library of Congress Junior Fellow working with the Veterans History Project (VHP) this summer.

Morales standing outside with trucks and an APC in the background at Camp Bedrock as the hospital is moved to a permanent location, Tuzla, Bosnia. Maginia Sajise Morales Collection, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress, AFC/2001/001/92229.

This summer, while serving as an LC Junior Fellow, I’ve had the honor and opportunity to explore the fascinating collections of photographs and oral histories archived by the Veterans History Project. While preparing for Display Day (a showcase held at the conclusion of the summer for Junior Fellows to present their work), my fellow Junior Fellow, Samantha Meier, and I reviewed a selection of VHP’s collections and set out to discover and understand the evolution of women’s positions in the United States military. What captivated me was that women are now serving in occupational capacities that are as diverse and interesting as the veterans’ own backgrounds, skillsets and motivations.

Two interesting collections that emerged were the collection of Major Maginia Sijise Morales and the collection of Command Sergeant Major Kimberly Davis, as each veteran served in humanitarian missions around the world, and in particular, in peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the mid-1990s. I had not previously been aware of these special operations and had to learn more!

Peacekeeping is a neutral military involvement implemented to help countries divided by conflict transition to enduring peace. Referred to as Peacekeeping Operations, or PKOs, the concept was developed by the United Nations after World War II to maintain order throughout Europe.

After the end of the Cold War, the United States Army played an active role in international peacekeeping missions in Africa, Haiti, Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina, countries struggling with regional conflicts, natural disasters, public health crisis and humanitarian emergencies. The involvement of female military peacemakers was particularly significant from 1992-1999 as women’s roles in the military had considerably advanced during the Persian Gulf War, and women soldiers served with distinction in war and flew aircrafts in combat missions. Women were expressly trained to cope with food riots, terrorist attacks, clan conflicts, and peacekeeping. They thrived in their roles during these special operations, ultimately adding value and success to the Army’s mission.

Morales (right) standing next to two Namibian women, Republic of Botswana. Maginia Sajise Morales Collection, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress, AFC/2001/001/92229.

The collection of Major Maginia Sijise Morales offers a striking example of the role played by a female soldier during a PKO. Morales was born, raised, and educated in the Philippines, and in 1977 was presented with the opportunity to work as a Registered Nurse in America. The only caveat was she had to leave her entire family in the Philippines. She excitedly took the chance and completed her graduate studies in the United States before being recruited to join the Army Reserves in 1985. Morales remained close to her family throughout her time in the Army and deemed the expensive phone calls home (she recalls in her VHP oral history spending $1000 per month to call the Philippines from her postings abroad) well worth it!

Morales’ first experience with peacekeeping came when she served as the Chief of Critical Care with the 212th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in Botswana. In 1995, Morales deployed to Tuzla, Bosnia with Army soldiers and 33 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and nutritionists, to help sustain peace in Bosnia following the brutal three-year civil war in the region.

In her VHP oral history, Morales stated that while she had extensive advanced training and education in trauma and burn surgery, treating mine injury victims was a new and devastating experience. So great was the risk of land mines that while stationed at Camp Bedrock in Tuzla, she and her fellow soldiers did not leave the camp except for when medics were assigned to mine fighting expedition crews.

I took a trip to the city of Sarajevo, [Bosnia] and approaching the city there were miles and miles of fresh graveyards. The trip [to Sarajevo] made me realize the magnitude of the problem, over 100,000 deaths. When I was working with the MASH, we were given the opportunity to go out with crews of people from Doctors Without Borders. We were able to go out to different units; they had people from Turkey, the Turkish Brigade, Germany, all kinds of medical units like mine and the Doctors Without Borders would go out to the mass gravesites where they were operating and document how these people were killed. It was amazing to do this as a service to humanity.”

Command Sergeant Major Kimberly Davis always knew she would join the military growing up as she was influenced by the stories her aunt and uncles would regale her with while on leave from their military posts. Davis recounted in her VHP interview that from a very young age she understood how fortunate she was to be an American and the number one reason she joined the Army was to serve her country.

Service portrait of Davis, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Kimberly Davis Collection, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress, AFC/2001/001/9994.

Davis was also deployed to Tuzla and Sarajevo, Bosnia in the mid-1990s. In her VHP interview, she explained her perspective on these Peacekeeping Operations:

For me, it’s freedom or die…the biggest most precious thing to me is the freedom to control your own destiny. It may sound cheesy, but it really is. That’s what motivates me when I go to these different places…That’s why we have to go in there and free people and say you can go for it, what you do with your freedom is your business, but at least you had a chance because when people are born into that type of oppression, it’s just not right. I don’t sleep good at night [thinking about the oppression], nobody should.”

Female soldiers such as Morales and Davis serve as role models in local, national and international communities. Serving in countless ways in every conflict, from supporting roles to peacekeeping to combat, female veterans are an invaluable element of the modern US military.

If you’re in the DC area, please join us for the Junior Fellows Display Day, which will be held on July 25, 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm,  Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Mahogany Row (LJ110-119). Two additional female veterans who were also involved in Peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Michelle Seretta Jones and Stacy Cox Vasquez, will also be highlighted in the display.

My Job at the Library: Researching African-American Genealogy

By Wendi Maloney

Ahmed Johnson. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Ahmed Johnson is a local history and genealogy reference librarian in the Library’s Main Reading Room and a specialist in African-American history. A bibliography he created, “African-American Family Histories and Related Works in the Library of Congress,” guides Library researchers seeking to understand their families’ stories to printed and digital sources at the Library.

Here Johnson answers questions about his career of nearly 30 years at the Library, how he developed a passion for African-American genealogy and his search for his own family’s roots.

Tell us a little about your background.
I am one of the few native Washingtonians at the Library of Congress – my family goes back four generations in D.C. In 1989, when I was as a rising senior at Archbishop Carroll High School, I started as a deck attendant in the Library’s Collections Management Division. While attending Hampton University in Virginia, I continued to work at the Library, eventually securing a position as reference assistant in the Manuscript Division. After I graduated, I was selected to participate in the Professional Development Associate Program, a 24-month training that led to my being hired as a reference librarian in the Local History and Genealogy Section.

How did you become interested in African-American genealogy?
I was always curious as a kid and loved history. Every chance I got, I would ask my grandmother – she is now 98 – about how she grew up and about my relatives. I wanted to know about their occupations, their education, their everyday life. My grandmother showed me a photograph from 1922 of her as a 2-year-old sitting on the porch of the family home in Clarke County, Mississippi. The picture included my great-great-great grandfather, who lived to be 106, my great-great grandparents, three cousins and a traveling preacher. I was fascinated by the black-and-white portrait – it looked ancient, it was so dark and blurred. The house looked like a log cabin, and everyone’s clothing was tattered. I quickly realized the sacrifice made by my ancestors and how this sacrifice benefited me – and this sparked even more questions. But I had no idea this curiosity would lead to a career helping others trace their family histories.

What are the special challenges of doing African-American genealogy?
For any group, the further back you go, the fewer records that exist. But the slavery system increased the difficulty. Some individuals were free before the Civil War, but most black Americans are descended from slaves. Considered property, slaves left no real paper trail. They did not record their marriages at the local county courthouse. Also, slavery split families apart, and few slaves could read or write, so the likelihood of family histories being left behind is low. Census records did not include the names of slaves, only the age and the gender of each slave belonging to a specific owner.

By the time slavery ended, for generations of people, much of their original identity and history was lost. And after the Civil War, many families migrated. Some took on the names of former masters, but others simply made up names. Former slaves were poor, and records are always scarce for the poor. Stories about blacks didn’t make the mainstream newspapers until decades later. Some unique records do exist that are helpful in tracing African-American roots, but usually the history is documented by finding the last slave owner.

Which collections have you used to track your own genealogy?
Genealogy is about more than names, dates and locations. It’s about how people lived and why they did the things they did. In genealogy, we call it “putting meat on the bones.” I began my research by interviewing my older relatives. This information led to other resources and collections.

The Library of Congress has local histories from throughout the country in its collections, for example. I searched for books relating to the counties where my relatives had lived. These books provided records pertaining to county history, marriages, taxes, deaths and other details. The Library also has family histories compiled by people who researched their own families. I searched our catalog for these books as well, but unfortunately none related to my line of the family.

The Library subscribes to hundreds of subscription databases, which are free to the staff and public – although some are accessible only on site. I have searched several and located fascinating records. Ancestry Library Edition, which is our subscription to, has over a billion names and allows you to search for your ancestors’ names. I’ve located U.S. census records, military records and marriage records for my family in Ancestry.

Chronicling America” is a newspaper database that allows keyword searching. My research in this database has revealed obituaries and other information. I continue to search the “Records of the Ante Bellum Southern Plantations,” a microfilmed collection housed in the Manuscript Reading Room. These are records of plantation owners containing information about everyday life on the plantations. They document when people were bought and sold, and provide details about occupations, clothing and food allowances and list slaves by their first names.

Has anything you’ve learned about your own family surprised you?
Using “Chronicling America,” I located a letter to the editor, “Remember the Fireman,” written by my great-great grandfather complaining about his pay and that of his colleagues. Imagine my surprise! I had no idea my ancestor was a firefighter. The letter was published in The Washington Herald on Dec. 10, 1913. But history tells me that black firemen didn’t exist during this time in D.C. I figured out that my ancestor was one of the guys who lit the gas lamps around the city. In 1913, they were called firemen.

'Storm Chasers' on Mars Searching for Dusty Secrets

Read article: 'Storm Chasers' on Mars Searching for Dusty Secrets

Scientists with NASA's Mars orbiters have been waiting years for an event like the current Mars global dust storm.

New NSF awards support the creation of bio-based semiconductors

programmable DNA

To address a worldwide need for data storage that far outstrips today's capabilities, federal agencies and a technology research consortium are investing $12 million in new research through the Semiconductor Synthetic Biology for Information Processing and Storage Technologies (SemiSynBio) program. The goal is to create storage systems that integrate synthetic biology with semiconductor technology.

SemiSynBio, a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the ...

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  • July 17th 2018 at 14:55

Junior Fellow Builds Access to Postwar Poetry Archive

By Wendi Maloney

This post is an interview of Antonio Parker, a 2018 summer intern with the Junior Fellows Program. He is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature. This summer, he is interning with the Library’s Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Antonio Parker

Tell us a little about your project.
I am working on the St. Mark’s Poetry Project archive housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The project is part of a community arts program that has operated out of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City since 1966. After a split with the Café Le Metro, a coffee shop once popular for hosting poetry readings, many poets from the Beat and Counterculture generation searched for a new venue for their readings. They found a home at St. Mark’s Church, and it has remained a venue for not only poetry readings but also film screenings, musical performances, writing workshops and many other creative arts endeavors for the past 50 years.

The St. Mark’s Poetry Project has cultivated both emerging and established poets since its inception. Allen Ginsberg, Paul Blackburn, Anne Waldman, Ron Padgett and many other poets have contributed to the development of the project through readings, workshops and administrative work. The project has also served as an escape for alienated youth from the dangers of street delinquency. It offers writing workshops for children and has a recreational area for children to play in a safe environment.

The Rare Book and Special Collections Division recently digitized the project’s archive, and my job is to help organize it to enable greater public access.

A flyer from the archive advertising a 1973 poetry reading by Ted Greenwald and Peter Schjeldahl.

Describe your typical day.
My day consists of organizing audiocassette tapes of readings, musical performances and screenings from as early as the 1970s and entering metadata for the tapes and their contents into a spreadsheet. In addition, I organize and enter data for the flyers from poetry readings and different events at the church into a Library database, and I scan images.

Have you discovered anything of special interest?
Among the most exciting things I’ve found are the elaborate and creative flyers made during the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to the flyers, members of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project collaborated to create book covers and illustrations. George Schneeman’s designs stand out to me within the collection of illustrations and flyers. I’ve also had the opportunity to listen to hours of audio recordings of poetry readings that have not been heard since they were recorded.

What attracted you to the project?
I was interested in learning about the St. Mark’s Poetry Project from my background in creative writing. I was also familiar with some of the poets who have given readings at the project, such as Allen Ginsberg and Sonia Sanchez, through poetry workshops. In addition, being an English major, I have a lot of familiarity with researching library databases such as WorldCat and JSTOR, and I developed an interest in archival conservation and access through my research.

What has your experience been like so far as a junior fellow?
My experience at the Library of Congress has been amazing. The staff has been nothing but kind and helpful to me, and every day has been a learning experience. Not only is the work engaging, but I have enjoyed the many informative sessions and events at the Library that have made me feel involved in the community.

For more information about the Junior Fellows Program, visit the Library’s website.

NSF-supported researchers to present new results on hurricanes and other extreme events

Satellite view of hurricanes off the US East Coast and in the Caribbean.

In the past year, extreme events -- including hurricanes, droughts and wildfires -- have plagued the U.S., affecting natural habitats and human communities.

The theme of the 2018 Ecological Society of America (ESA) meeting reflects the importance of these natural disasters. Conference participants will present the latest research findings on "extreme events, resilience and human well-being."

The meeting takes place ...

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  • July 17th 2018 at 10:00

Come to an Irish Session on July 28

By Stephen Winick

This summer, the American Folklife Center is hosting a series of informal jams to celebrate our living folk traditions, and to bring to life the collections from our vast ethnographic archive.  The idea grew out of the jam we held to honor our founding director, Alan Jabbour (see a video here), and the series started with an old-time jam led by Grammy-winners Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, which we held on July 7. All sessions will include a short tour of the resources available to musicians in the Center’s Folklife Reading Room.  We’ll also be cluing people in to some of the tunes that might be played in advance, which will allow us to introduce a few of our collections…so read on to the end for links to some great tunes!

Before we get to that, though, we’re pleased to announce that our second jam is an Irish session, and will be led by the Winch family, brothers Jesse and Terence and Terence’s son Michael. The Winches are among the region’s best known traditional Irish musicians and session leaders. Jesse and Terence, the sons of Irish immigrants, were brought up in an Irish neighborhood in the Bronx. They moved to the Washington, D.C. area in the 1970s, and founded a band called Celtic Thunder, one of the city’s first traditional Irish music bands of the folk revival era, when melodies played on traditional instruments like fiddle, flute, and accordion began to combine with with songs and chords on bouzouki and guitar. The original Celtic Thunder is no more, but Jesse and Terence have remained at the forefront of D.C.’s Irish arts scene.  (In case you’re wondering, the current group called Celtic Thunder is unrelated to the what we might call the “Classic” Celtic Thunder.  The new band just appropriated their name–or you might say, stole their thunder!)

Here’s a little more about each of the Winches: 

Terence plays button accordion and is also known for his songwriting and poetry. His best-known composition, “When New York Was Irish,” was the centerpiece of the original Celtic Thunder’s INDIE-winning album, The Light of Other Days, and is included on his CD compilation, When New York Was Irish: Songs & Tunes by Terence Winch. Terence is the recipient of an NEA poetry fellowship, an American Book Award, and other honors, and his latest poetry collections are The Known Universe and This Way Out.  In 1992, he was named one of “The Top 100 Irish-Americans” by Irish America magazine. 

Jesse is regarded as one of the premier bodhrán (Irish drum) players and teachers in traditional Irish music. He also plays bouzouki, guitar, and harmonica, and was a founding member of Celtic Thunder. He is the organizer of several highly regarded ceili bands, including the Bog Wanderers, which released a CD called Here’s To You. Jesse can also be heard as a member of the Irish Inn Mates on Monday nights at the Irish Inn in Glen Echo, MD. Jesse is also former cathaoirleach (chairman) of the O’Neill Malcom Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann (CCÉ), the worldwide traditional Irish music society, and was elected to the CCÉ Mid-Atlantic Region Hall of Fame in 2012. 

Michael, Terence’s son and Jesse’s nephew, has studied fiddle with some of the best players in Irish music, including Liz and Yvonne Kane, Tony DeMarco, Brian Conway, Patrick Ourceau, and Mitch Fanning.  Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, immersed from birth in Irish music.  Michael has been a vital part of the D.C.-area’s Bog Band, an ensemble of young musicians, and of MAD (Musical Arts and Dance) Week since he was a teenager. Michael has also served as music consultant for a number of Solas Nua’s productions. In 2015 and 2016 he was nominated for Helen Hayes Awards for original scores he wrote for D.C.’s  Pointless Theater.  Michael currently leads a monthly Irish session at the Petworth Citizen in D.C. In 2017, the trio released the CD This Day Too: Music from Irish America.

An Irish music session (sometimes written with the Gaelic spelling seisiún) is an informal gathering at which musicians play music for themselves and one another. While non-playing audience members are welcome, they’re not essential, and the music isn’t played for their entertainment. Typically, tunes will be played in sets featuring two or three of the same rhythmic type; three jigs or four reels, for example. While the first tune in a set is sometimes announced by name, musicians follow the leaders when the tune shifts. A good session therefore involves openness, spontaneity, and communication, as well as skill and knowledge of the tunes. As one great old Philadelphia fiddler once said to me, “it’s not always perfect, but it’s lively!”

To give folks a head start, the Winches suggested a few tunes which are well known locally, and which might show up in this session.  As promised, I’ve found versions of some of these in our collections, which also gives me the opportunity to highlight some of our Irish music collections which live online at the Library of Congress or elsewhere. 

We’ll start with videos from our Homegrown Concert Series.  Obviously, I encourage you to watch each video in its entirety, but I’ll also tell you where to find tunes the Winches mentioned.

The Gannon Family of St. Louis, Missouri, played here in November 2006. At about 7:00 into the video at this link, you’ll find a set of tunes, the second of which is the jig “Out on the Ocean.”

Billy McComiskey played here with his family and friends in June 2016, to celebrate winning the National Heritage Fellowship.  The video is here; at 5:30 hear the reel “The Hare’s Paw,” at 23:25 hear the hornpipe “The Boys of Blue Hill,” and at 27:18 hear Billy switch into the reel “Man of the House.”

The Billy McComiskey Family Band performs traditional Irish music from Maryland as part of the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series, June 28, 2016. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Billy also played here with Brendan Mulvihill in 2009 to celebrate the career of folklorist Joe Wilson.  The second tune in the set that begins at 1:43:40 in this video is the hornpipe “The Echo.”

We have many other collections with Irish music, too.  One of the most interesting is the Francis O’Neill cylinder recordings. (Read more about it here!) These are recordings of traditional music made on wax cylinders by Francis O’Neill, chief of police in Chicago, who was also one of the most significant collectors of Irish music in the early 20th century. Although most of his collecting was done in books, he did make a few cylinder recordings, which were lost for years in the attic of a friend, then rediscovered and brought to the Ward Irish Music Museum in Milwaukee. We helped the Ward Museum digitize the cylinders, and retained digital copies for our archive.  You can find the collection on SoundCloud at this linkThe Winches recommend #11, the jig “The Connachtman’s Rambles,” and #31, the reel “The Pigeon on the Gate.”

New York Irish musician Bill Ochs created the Pennywhistler’s Press to disseminate Irish music and information about it.  He was particularly diligent in documenting the repertoire of Micho Russell, the great flute and whistle player and singer from Doolin in County Clare. Bill donated his large collection of Micho Russell tapes to AFC, where they became the Pennywhistler’s Press Collection of recordings of Micho Russell (find the catalog record here) The tapes document Russell’s whole repertoire, including the reel “The Fermoy Lasses,” which you can hear Micho play on the flute at 8:08 in this video on YouTube.

So that’s just 8 tunes recommended by the Winches, out of hundreds of Irish tunes they know, and thousands in our collections at the American Folklife Center.  Once you’ve listened to those tunes, and the rest of the videos and collections they’re part of, you’re more than ready for a session. So grab your fiddle, whistle, accordion, or whatever it is you play, and come on over to the Library of Congress–all skill levels are welcome! Where and when, you ask?  Read on:

Irish Music Session with the Winches
Saturday, July 28, 2018, 2:00 pm-4:00pm
Veterans History Project Info Center LJG-51, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress
10 First Street SE, Washington, DC
For more information contact Thea Austen (202-707-1743)
Request ADA accommodations 5 days in advance at 202-707-6362 or


Army Chooses Austin as Site for Futures Command Headquarters

By David Vergun
Austin, Texas, will be the location for the headquarters of the new U.S. Army Futures Command, Army Secretary Mark T. Esper announced at a Pentagon news conference.
Mobile rocket launcher fires during a test.

Exercise Sea Breeze 2018 Kicks Off in Ukraine

By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
The 18th iteration of Sea Breeze, an exercise designed to enhance interoperability among participating nations and strengthen regional security, kicked off following opening ceremonies in Odessa and Shiroky Lan training range, Ukraine.
Ukrainian admiral briefs Exercise Sea Breeze participants.

Coalition Partner Captures 11 ISIS Fighters in Southern Syria

By DoD News
The Maghawir al-Thowra, an Operation Inherent Resolve partner force in Syria, detained 11 Islamic State of Iraq and Syria fighters inside the deconfliction zone in southern Syria.
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. DoD Graphic

FBI Helps Marshall Center Counterterrorism Network Stop Future Attacks

By Christine June
A husband and wife team from the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force trained the Marshall Center’s counterterrorism network how to investigate and collect evidence from terrorism sites to help prevent future terror attacks.
FBI special agents teach an international class about terrorism.

Mattis Discusses Defense Relationship With Croatian Leaders

By DoD News
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis met with Croatia's prime minister and president to reaffirm the importance of a long-term defense relationship between the United States and Croatia.
Operation Atlantic Resolve

Coalition, Iraqi Artillery Support Operation Roundup

By DoD News
South of Sinjar, Iraq, near the Syrian border, Iraqi and coalition troops lived and worked side by side for more than a month as they shelled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorists in Syria.
Operation Inherent Resolve special graphic

The Changing Place Names of Washington, D.C.

By Tim St. Onge

The following post is by Kim Edwin, a library technician in the Geography and Map Division.

Since coming to the Washington, D.C. area and joining the Geography and Map Division, I have enjoyed learning about the early history of our nation’s capital through maps and place names. In studying maps from the city’s early years up to the present, it’s clear that the city has seen a complicated array of toponyms and political geography over its history.

The Residence Act of 1790 created a national capital, known as the Federal District, from portions of Maryland and Virginia, centered on the convergence of the Potomac and the Anacostia rivers, which are names derived from the Algonquian Native American language. In 1791, President George Washington appointed Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant to develop a plan for the new city. This resulted in a map, now famously known as the L’Enfant Plan, an enhanced version of which can be seen below. L’Enfant does not name the new city in his map, but within his layout of streets, marked by circles and diagonals, he shows locations for the “President’s House” as well as the “Congress House.” It even has a “Grand Avenue” on the site of today’s National Mall.

Enhanced reproduction of L'Enfant Plan for Washington, DC with street grid and locations of President's House and Congress House.

“Plan of the city intended for the permanent seat of the government of t[he] United States : projected agreeable to the direction of the President of the United States, in pursuance of an act of Congress, passed on the sixteenth day of July, MDCCXC, ‘establishing the permanent seat on the bank of the Potowmac,'” original by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, 1791. Computer-assisted reproduction published by Library of Congress with National Geographic Society, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Park Service, 1991. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Despite all his hard work, friction between the mercurial L’Enfant and the commissioners supervising the creation of the Federal District plan ultimately forced President Washington to fire L’Enfant. Surveyor Andrew Ellicott, who had been working on surveying the boundaries of the Federal District, was tasked with carrying on with planning. Using much of Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 design, Ellicott’s 1792 map, as seen below, is labeled as the “City of Washington” in the “Territory of Columbia.” As the feminine of Christopher Columbus’s last name, “Columbia” was a poetic name for America with origins in the early 18th century. Of course, we all know that “Washington” is named after President George Washington.
Map of updated L'Enfant Plan for Washington, DC by Andrew Ellicott with streamlined road network.

“Plan of the city of Washington in the territory of Columbia : ceded by the states of Virginia and Maryland to the United States of America, and by them established as the seat of their government, after the year MDCCC,” Andrew Ellicott, 1792. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 formally organized the “District of Columbia” as under the control of Congress and consisted of five political entities, including three cities and two counties. The three cities were the long before established cities of Georgetown and Alexandria, as well as Washington City, which had been delineated in the L’Enfant Plan. The eastern and western sides of the Potomac River within the district became Washington County and Alexandria County, respectively.

Map of the entire District of Columbia including Georgetown, Washington City, Washington County, Alexandria County, and Alexandria City. Detail is minimal and focuses on political geography.

“District of Columbia,” Thomas Gamaliel Bradford, 1835. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Due to the turnover of city planners, the War of 1812, flooding, and other losses of support, there were significant delays in implementing the designs of the city over the next few decades. In 1846, portions of the District of Columbia on the western side of the Potomac River (Alexandria County and Alexandria City), were retroceded to Virginia. In 1851, President Millard Fillmore hired the landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing to redesign the National Mall. Shortly after being hired, Downing tragically died in a steamship explosion, leading to still more delays.

Nevertheless, the city did grow throughout the 19th century. Albert Boschke’s 1857 map of Washington City shows the significant urban development occurring at the time. Boschke’s map also shows that the area that is now at the western end of the National Mall was still part of the Potomac River. In the following years, dredging of the Potomac and the use of collected fill to build up the lower marshy areas of the city significantly controlled flooding, helped prevent the spread of malaria from mosquitoes, and made the surrounding waterways more navigable. Politically, the District of Columbia (now consisting of Georgetown, Washington City, and Washington County) became unified as one territorial government under the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871.

Map of Washington City within L'Enfant Plan, showing building footprints and development of city.

“Map of Washington City, District of Columbia, seat of the federal government: respectfully dedicated to the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of North America,” Alfred Boschke, 1857. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

John Trout’s beautiful watercolor panorama captures the city as it was at the turn of the 20th century. In 1902, the year following Trout’s painting, the Senate Park Commission made new developmental recommendations for the central core and surrounding park system of the city. These recommendations were contained in what became known as the McMillan Plan, named after Senator James McMillan. The McMillan Plan essentially updated L’Enfant’s plan with the “City Beautiful” style reminiscent of many European capitals. The improvements later resulted in the Lincoln Memorial with a reflecting pool and the Jefferson Memorial with its aesthetically balancing tidal basin.

Panoramic watercolor of Washington, DC centered over national mall, with building roofs in red.

“View looking northwest from Anacostia: [Washington D.C.],” John L. Trout, 1901. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Today, Washington, D.C. is the thriving capital city envisioned by its early founders. With thousands more maps of Washington, D.C. available in the Geography and Map collections, there is always more learn about the history and geography of the nation’s capital.

Coalition Medical Training Saves Iraqi Lives

By Army Sgt. Dennis Glass
Medical training that coalition forces provide to their Iraqi partners saves lives, and it is on track to save more.
Soldier poses for photo in Iraq.

Pic of the Week: Facilitating Access to Hebrew and Yiddish Periodicals

By Wendi Maloney

Photo by Shawn Miller.

Sasha Zborovsky of Ohio State University examines one of the Yiddish periodicals she is organizing this summer in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Reading Room.

She is one of 40 students participating in the Library’s 2018 Junior Fellows Summer Internship Program. Fellows are working across the Library on 33 different projects covering topics ranging from preservation research and testing and the National Book Festival to Hispanic literature and African-American migration. The fellows are currently in week seven of the 10-week program.

“We have periodicals in Hebrew and Yiddish published across Eastern Europe, Israel and the United States, from the early 19th century to the present, all gathered here in the Hebraic Section,” Zborovsky explains. “Unfortunately, many of the cataloging records for these periodicals lack holdings statements, so the outside world does not know what volumes the Library owns. My job involves fixing that.”

For more information about the Junior Fellows program, visit the Library’s website.

Face of Defense: Navy Corpsman Serves to Help Others

By Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Vitaliy Rusavskiy
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin O’Neal Reynard Jr. was raised poor with few opportunities and credits the military for giving him the chance to serve others, earn a college degree and achieve his lifelong dreams.
A sailor poses for a photo in front of a medical clinic.

‘Exciting, Crucial’ Time in AI Development, Official Tells Innovation Board

By Lisa Ferdinando
Artificial intelligence is a strategic priority for the Defense Department that could transform the way the department operates, the head of machine learning at the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental said.
Official addresses Defense Innovation Board from lectern at board meeting.

VA Establishes Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization to Support Transition From Legacy Patient Data System

WASHINGTON - Focused on ensuring a successful transition from a legacy patient data system, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the recent establishment of the Office of Electronic Health Record Modernization (OEHRM).
  • July 12th 2018 at 20:22

VA's Board of Veterans' Appeals Using Innovative Tools to Make a Record Number of Decisions

WASHINGTON - Strengthened by innovative tools, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently issued a record number of decisions for Veterans appealing their disability benefits claims.
  • July 12th 2018 at 17:17

Special-Operator Trainers Outline Evolution of the Battlefront Airman

By Terri Moon Cronk
Candidates training to be special operators evolve to the enemy that's developing by adapting and trying to overcome it, two Air Force special-operator trainers said at the Pentagon in the Defense Department’s “Showcasing Lethality” briefing series.
320th STS conducts military free fall with Thai partners

Neutrino observation points to one source of high-energy cosmic rays

IceCube Neutrino Observatory from artist representation

Observations made by researchers using a National Science Foundation (NSF) detector at the South Pole and verified by ground- and space-based telescopes have produced the first evidence of one source of high-energy cosmic neutrinos. These ghostly subatomic particles can travel unhindered for billions of light-years, journeying to Earth from some of the most extreme environments in the universe.

Data gathered by NSF's IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the foundation's Amundsen-Scott ...

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  • July 12th 2018 at 15:00

STEM Education Advisory Panel announced

The acronym STEM with corresponding icons

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in consultation with the Department of Education, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced the appointment of 18 members to a new advisory panel created to encourage U.S. scientific and technological innovations in education, as authorized by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.

Gabriela Gonzalez, deputy director of the Intel Foundation, Intel Corporation, will chair the new STEM Education ...

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  • July 12th 2018 at 14:17

NSF selects Arthur Lupia to head Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate

Arthur Lupia

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Dr. Arthur Lupia to serve as head of the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), which supports fundamental research in behavioral, cognitive, social and economic sciences.

Lupia has more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the social sciences community. Since 2006, he has served as the Hal R. Varian Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He serves ...

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  • July 11th 2018 at 20:26

“Ask Me About My Awesome Job at NIH”

By Rich

What happens to former students involved in the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth?

black button with white letters reading, "Ask me about my AWESOME job at NIH"Sometimes, they work at the National Institutes of Health and NLM.

That’s what happened to Adam Korengold & several NLM interns.

On June 25, they joined about a dozen other NIH employees wearing “Ask Me About My Awesome Job at NIH” buttons for the “Genetics, Bioinformatics, & Biomedicine” event for students from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth & their parents.

Throughout the day, more than 75 tweens and teenagers from the Center participated in talks & tours of NLM and NIH. This second annual event was cosponsored by NLM & the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

As part of the program, staff from NLM, NHGRI, & other NIH institutes were invited to speak with the students and parents for small group discussions during lunch.

For Korengold, an applications lead for the Office of Computer and Communications Systems at NLM, the chance to meet with students who reminded him of his childhood was irresistible. In speaking with students, Korengold drew upon the connections between research & science, communication, elections, & even football.

Ben Kussmaul addressed both college life & his internship in the Communications Engineering Branch at NLM. “I had a great time talking to students with the same passion for science that I had as a kid,” said Kussmaul of Swarthmore College. Other NLM interns who participated in the Johns Hopkins Center as children and met with the group included Rachel Cai of Gunn High School in California & Sanjana Singh of McLean High School in Virginia.

What happens to parents whose children get involved in the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth?

Sometimes they work at NLM.

For the second year in a row, Terry Yoo, PhD, of NLM’s Office of High Performance Computing & Communications & parent of two sons who participated in the Hopkins program, was the morning keynote speaker. He told the students about how technology & medicine are making personalized medicine possible. Dr. Yoo’s sons Ross & Duncan were active in the Hopkins program when they were younger.

Roxanne Yamashita, PhD, talks with students about her work at NCBI.
Myra Derbyshire, PhD, is especially passionate about encouraging young people to consider careers in science.
Terry Yoo, PhD, talks science with Kiley Alt & her mother.

Who else from NLM got involved?

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that computer scientists work at NLM. In her afternoon keynote address to the students, Dina Demner-Fushman, MD, PhD, addressed that question & more as she outlined many professions represented at the Library and how researchers at NLM study how to understand communication information needs & communicate information. & in case the students needed a reminder, at the end of her talk Demner-Fushman answered her initial question about what computer scientists do at the Library. The simple answer: improving health!

NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Institute’s Conserved Domain Database was well represented as Narmada Thanki-Cunningham, PhD, Roxanne A. Yamashita, PhD, & Myra Derbyshire, PhD, meet with the students one-on-one.

Throughout the day, specialized tours of NLM’s Lister Hill Audiovisual Program Development Branch were led by Donald Bliss, Kristen Browne, Jennifer Crocker, Jeff Day, MD, and Troy Hill. Mary Ann Leonard & Melanie Modlin led general tours of the Library.

In addition, intern Daniel Quintans of Swarthmore College joined Cai, Kussmaul, and Singh in meeting with the students during lunch.

What happened to the students from the Hopkins Center who participated in the program at NLM?

A young African-American man engages with teens over lunch

Rob Rivers, PhD, of the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, takes time to speak with young people interested in science. Rivers serves as the program director in the NIDDK Office of Minority Health Coordination.

They learned more than they expected.

Thirteen-year-old Kiley Alt of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said the day offered “an amazing opportunity.” She particularly enjoyed learning about genetics & coding.

Ashton Peoples, 16, & her mother, both from McDonough, Georgia, said they had no idea that speakers of such high caliber would be on the agenda. Indeed, both Dr. Yoo and Dr. Demner-Fushman gave inspiring keynote speeches.

For Noah Xu, 13, & his father Shi Xu of Philadelphia, the day provided a great opportunity to see the campus of NIH. Dr. Xu, a cancer researcher, remarked that several of his former classmates from both China & the United States work at NIH.

Misk Khalif, 16, & her mother Seynab Mohamed of Minnesota said they were particularly glad to be exposed to bioinformatics.

Who knows?

Maybe one day in the future, one or more of these young scholars will be back on campus, sporting a button that says, “Ask Me About My Awesome Job at NIH.”

The program at NLM was coordinated by Tara Mowery of NLM’s Office of Communications & Public Liaison & staff from NHGRI’s Education & Community Involvement Branch.

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Lou Curtiss, San Diego Folk Promoter 1939 – 2018

By Stephen Winick

Louis F. “Lou” Curtiss in his record shop, Folk Arts Rare Records.

The American Folklife Center is sad to pass on the news that San Diego folk arts promoter Louis F. Curtiss has died. He passed away at home on July 8.

Curtiss was a founder of the San Diego Folk Festival, the owner of Folk Arts Rare Records, and a longtime festival and concert promoter and sound engineer on the San Diego music scene. A mentor to Tom Waits, Buddy Blue, Joan Baez, and Mojo Nixon, among many others, he helped promote folk, blues, and roots music to generations of Californians.  For more information on Lou, we recommend this tribute by George Varga of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and Lou’s own summary of his career on the occasion of his retirement.

During his life, Curtiss amassed a large and significant collection of tapes and other documentation of traditional and revivalist folk music. As part of an effort to preserve the collection and make it accessible, AFC helped digitize and retained digital copies of Curtiss’s 420 audiotapes documenting the first nine years of the San Diego Folk Festival, 1967-1975, plus performances at other California venues. The collection also includes a second series of 57 audiotape recordings largely by Sam Hinton, featuring Hinton himself and a wide variety of performers on his radio show. See the catalog record here.

The collection includes hundreds of performers, many nationally known and others firmly associated with the West Coast and San Diego folk scenes. They include folk revival performers, but also musicians in a variety of ethnic and regional styles including Cajun, Mexican American, and Irish American music, and visitors from overseas.  A partial list of the performers includes: Pete Seeger, Reverend Gary Davis, Seamus Ennis, A. L. Lloyd, Bessie Jones, Guy and Candie Carawan, Sam Hinton, Doc and Merle Watson, Jean Ritchie, Hedy West, Sandy and Caroline Paton, The Chambers Brothers, Earl Collins, Kathy Larisch and Carol McComb (Kathy & Carol), Alan Mills, Jean Redpath, Larry Hanks, Alice Gerrard, Benny Thomasson, Big Joe Williams, The Boys of the Lough, Cliff Carlisle & Wilbur Ball, Cottonmouth D’Arcy, Dave Page & The Siamsa Gael Ceili Band, Doye O’Dell, Ed Lowe & Tom Sauber, Elizabeth Cotton, Frankie Armstrong, George Winston, Glenn Ohrlin, Hank Penny, Happy Traum, Johnny Walker, Kenny Hall, Kirk McGee & Blyth Poteet, Lily Mae Ledford, Louis Boudreault, Merle Travis, Mike Seeger, Patsy Montana, Ray & Ina Patterson, Rita Weill, Rosalie Sorrels, Rose Maddox, Sam Chatmon, The Balfa Brothers, Tom Paley, Tom Waits, Tommy Jarrell, U. Utah Phillips, Cousin Emmy, The Sweets Mill Mountain Boys, Johnny Bond, Vern & Ray, Olabelle Reed, Nimrod Workman, George Tucker, Kyle Creed, The Golden Eagles (New Orleans Indians), The Wright Brothers Gospel Quartet, The Como Mississippi Fife & Drum Band, Model T Slim, Santiago Jimenez, Los Madrugadores, The England Bros., Bill Staines, The Hoosier Hot Shots, Blind Joe Hill, Thomas Shaw, Ervin “Big Daddy” Rucker, Pop Wagner, Jim Ringer, Otis Pierce, Silly Wizard, Dave Surman, Stan Hugill, Louis Killen, Texas Lil, Byron Berline, D.L. Menard, Martin, Bogan & Armstrong, Sara Grey, Lydia Mendoza, John Jackson, Bonnie Jefferson, Fro Brigham, Robert Jeffery, Bob Bovee & Gail Heil, and Sister Helen Sanders.

The collections also includes field recordings made by Guy Carawan on Johns Island, South Carolina in 1964-1965.

Visitors can listen to the recordings in AFC’s research center on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  A complete inventory of the recordings is available on site.

A small selection of the recordings is online to be listened to, at this link on the Folk Arts Rare Records site.

The retired head of our archive, Michael Taft, knew Curtiss and was involved in acquiring his collection.  He had this to say about Curtiss: “Lou was a ‘keeper of traditions.’ He was one of those necessary individuals who record, document and promote traditional culture (and popular culture), preserving their personal archives long enough so that places like the Library of Congress can reap the harvest, and continue the responsibility of ‘tradition-keeper.’ The world needs people like Lou Curtiss.”

Curtiss is survived by his wife Virginia, his son Benjamin, and two sisters, Leona Persinger and Dorothy Curtiss.

Movie Theater Etiquette: Ladies, Kindly Remove Your Hats

By Kristi Finefield

Summer movie season is upon us! Many of us escape into a cool, dark theater to see the latest blockbuster film during these hot months. And while we wait for the feature to start, we are reminded onscreen to refrain from texting, talking and otherwise disturbing the rest of the audience. Well, in the course of browsing through our collections for a reference question, I came upon a reminder that some things never change! The need to inform moviegoers of proper etiquette developed at the same time as movie theaters themselves, in the early 1900s. Still frames were shown before the film, during the intermission, during technical difficulties with the film, and even after the movie. Many focused on good behavior, and those are the ones that really caught my attention.

Some were directed at specific groups, such as ladies wearing large hats, and employed humor and exaggeration:

Madam, how would you like to sit behind the hat you are wearing. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Madam, how would you like to sit behind the hat you are wearing. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Ladies kindly remove your hats. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Ladies kindly remove your hats. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Of course, in an era where most people wore hats, the men were asked to remove theirs as well:

Gentlemen will please remove their hats and kindly refrain from smoking / D'Artois & Cie. Photo copyrighted by Electro Mechanical Co., 1907.

Gentlemen will please remove their hats and kindly refrain from smoking / D’Artois & Cie. Photo copyrighted by Electro Mechanical Co., 1907.

Slides asked gentlemen to keep the theater clean as well, by refraining from both smoking and spitting on the floor!

If you expect to rate as a gentleman, you will not expectorate on the floor. Photo copyrighted by Electro Mechanical Co., 1907.

If you expect to rate as a gentleman, you will not expectorate on the floor. Photo copyrighted by Electro Mechanical Co., 1907.

Quiet during the feature was also requested of all:

Loud talking or whistling not allowed. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Loud talking or whistling not allowed. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Please applaud with hands only. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Please applaud with hands only. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

And for those theaters wishing to attract women and children, some images assured them of their safety and the appropriate nature of the films shown:

If annoyed when here, please tell the management. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

If annoyed when here, please tell the management. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Ladies and children are cordially invited to this theatre. No offensive pictures are ever shown here. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Ladies and children are cordially invited to this theatre. No offensive pictures are ever shown here. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

I think we can all agree that the rules for good behavior in a movie theater haven’t changed much from the early days, and that a little humor always helps!

Good night. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Good night. Photo, copyrighted by Scott and Van Altena, 1912.

Learn More:

  • Enjoy more of the images shown to early moviegoers, including announcements of reel changes, intermission announcements and even simple greetings and farewells, such as the one featured at right. The images featured in the post are from two groups, cataloged as LOTs (groups).
  • Pack your picnic – and perhaps leave your large hats at home! -  and join the crowd as the Library of Congress kicks off the 2018 Summer Movies on the Lawn! The first feature, Field of Dreams, is this Thursday, July 12 at 8:00 on the north lawn of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Read more details about the whole line-up so you can plan your free summer movie watching!
  • Each of the six movies shown this summer at the Library are on the National Film Registry. The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. Learn more about the registry and read the entire list of films.
  • Take a tour of movie theaters from all over the United States through the work of photographer John Margolies in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.

Scientists study connection between Great Plains precipitation and agricultural irrigation

Truck carrying mobile radar.

Can crop irrigation affect the clouds that form high above farm fields? Indeed it can, say atmospheric scientists.

Agricultural irrigation to meet a growing demand for food is adding significant amounts of water to the land surface and altering regional land use and land cover. These changes affect lower atmosphere circulation, potentially influencing cloud development and precipitation.

To further understand how irrigation may be affecting precipitation, scientists from ...

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  • July 11th 2018 at 10:00

Genetics Home Reference: nearsightedness

By Rich
  • Cheng CY, Schache M, Ikram MK, Young TL, Guggenheim JA, Vitart V, MacGregor S, Verhoeven VJ, Barathi Veterans Affairs, Liao J, Hysi PG, Bailey-Wilson JE, St Pourcain B, Kemp JP, McMahon G, Timpson NJ, Evans DM, Montgomery GW, Mishra A, Wang YX, Wang JJ, Rochtchina E, Polasek O, Wright AF, Amin N, van Leeuwen EM, Wilson JF, Pennell CE, van Duijn CM, de Jong PT, Vingerling JR, Zhou X, Chen P, Li R, Tay WT, Zheng Y, Chew M; Consortium for Refractive Error & Myopia, Burdon KP, Craig JE, Iyengar SK, Igo RP Jr, Lass JH Jr; Fuchs’ Genetics Multi-Center Study Group, Chew EY, Haller T, Mihailov E, Metspalu A, Wedenoja J, Simpson CL, Wojciechowski R, Höhn R, Mirshahi A, Zeller T, Pfeiffer N, Lackner KJ; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2, Bettecken T, Meitinger T, Oexle K, Pirastu M, Portas L, Nag A, Williams KM, Yonova-Doing E, Klein R, Klein BE, Hosseini SM, Paterson AD; Diabetes Control & Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions, & Complications Research Group, Makela KM, Lehtimaki T, Kahonen M, Raitakari O, Yoshimura N, Matsuda F, Chen LJ, Pang CP, Yip SP, Yap MK, Meguro A, Mizuki N, Inoko H, Foster PJ, Zhao JH, Vithana E, Tai ES, Fan Q, Xu L, Campbell H, Fleck B, Rudan I am, Aung T, Hofman A, Uitterlinden AG, Bencic G, Khor CC, Forward H, Pärssinen O, Mitchell P, Rivadeneira F, Hewitt AW, Williams C, Oostra BA, Teo YY, Hammond CJ, Stambolian D, Mackey DA, Klaver CC, Wong TY, Saw SM, Baird PN. Nine loci for ocular axial length identified through genome-wide association studies, including shared loci with refractive error. Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Aug 8;93(2):264-77. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.06.016.

  • Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S. Global Prevalence of Myopia & High Myopia & Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016 May;123(5):1036-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.01.006. Epub 2016 Feb 11. Review.

  • Kiefer AK, Tung JY, Do CB, Hinds DA, Mountain JL, Francke U, Eriksson N. Genome-wide analysis points to roles for extracellular matrix remodeling, the visual cycle, & neuronal development in myopia. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(2):e1003299. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003299. Epub 2013 Feb 28.

  • Li J, Zhang Q. Insight into the molecular genetics of myopia. Mol Vis. 2017 Dec 31;23:1048-1080. eCollection 2017.

  • Morgan IG, Ohno-Matsui K, Saw SM. Myopia. Lancet. 2012 May 5;379(9827):1739-48. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60272-4. Review.

  • Simpson CL, Wojciechowski R, Oexle K, Murgia F, Portas L, Li X, Verhoeven VJ, Vitart V, Schache M, Hosseini SM, Hysi PG, Raffel LJ, Cotch MF, Chew E, Klein BE, Klein R, Wong TY, van Duijn CM, Mitchell P, Saw SM, Fossarello M, Wang JJ; DCCT/EDIC Research Group, Polašek O, Campbell H, Rudan I'm, Oostra BA, Uitterlinden AG, Hofman A, Rivadeneira F, Amin N, Karssen LC, Vingerling JR, Döring A, Bettecken T, Bencic G, Gieger C, Wichmann HE, Wilson JF, Venturini C, Fleck B, Cumberland PM, Rahi JS, Hammond CJ, Hayward C, Wright AF, Paterson AD, Baird PN, Klaver CC, Rotter JI, Pirastu M, Meitinger T, Bailey-Wilson JE, Stambolian D. Genome-wide meta-analysis of myopia & hyperopia provides evidence for replication of 11 loci. PLoS One. 2014 Sep 18;9(9):e107110. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0107110. eCollection 2014.

  • Tedja MS, Wojciechowski R, Hysi PG, Eriksson N, Furlotte NA, Verhoeven VJM, Iglesias AI, Meester-Smoor MA, Tompson SW, Fan Q, Khawaja AP, Cheng CY, Höhn R, Yamashiro K, Wenocur A, Grazal C, Haller T, Metspalu A, Wedenoja J, Jonas JB, Wang YX, Xie J, Mitchell P, Foster PJ, Klein BEK, Klein R, Paterson AD, Hosseini SM, Shah RL, Williams C, Teo YY, Tham YC, Gupta P, Zhao W, Shi Y, Saw WY, Tai ES, Sim XL, Huffman JE, Polašek O, Hayward C, Bencic G, Rudan I'm am, Wilson JF; CREAM Consortium; 23andMe Research Team; UK Biobank Eye & Vision Consortium, Joshi PK, Tsujikawa A, Matsuda F, Whisenhunt KN, Zeller T, van der Spek PJ, Haak R, Meijers-Heijboer H, van Leeuwen EM, Iyengar SK, Lass JH, Hofman A, Rivadeneira F, Uitterlinden AG, Vingerling JR, Lehtimäki T, Raitakari OT, Biino G, Concas MP, Schwantes-An TH, Igo RP Jr, Cuellar-Partida G, Martin NG, Craig JE, Gharahkhani P, Williams KM, Nag A, Rahi JS, Cumberland PM, Delcourt C, Bellenguez C, Ried JS, Bergen AA, Meitinger T, Gieger C, Wong TY, Hewitt AW, Mackey DA, Simpson CL, Pfeiffer N, Pärssinen O, Baird PN, Vitart V, Amin N, van Duijn CM, Bailey-Wilson JE, Young TL, Saw SM, Stambolian D, MacGregor S, Guggenheim JA, Tung JY, Hammond CJ, Klaver CCW. Genome-wide association meta-analysis highlights light-induced signaling as a driver for refractive error. Nat Genet. 2018 Jun;50(6):834-848. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0127-7. Epub 2018 May 28.

  • Verhoeven VJ, Hysi PG, Wojciechowski R, Fan Q, Guggenheim JA, Höhn R, MacGregor S, Hewitt AW, Nag A, Cheng CY, Yonova-Doing E, Zhou X, Ikram MK, Buitendijk GH, McMahon G, Kemp JP, Pourcain BS, Simpson CL, Mäkelä KM, Lehtimäki T, Kähönen M, Paterson AD, Hosseini SM, Wong HS, Xu L, Jonas JB, Pärssinen O, Wedenoja J, Yip SP, Ho DW, Pang CP, Chen LJ, Burdon KP, Craig JE, Klein BE, Klein R, Haller T, Metspalu A, Khor CC, Tai ES, Aung T, Vithana E, Tay WT, Barathi Vets Affairs; Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM), Chen P, Li R, Liao J, Zheng Y, Ong RT, Döring A; Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions & Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Research Group, Evans DM, Timpson NJ, Verkerk AJ, Meitinger T, Raitakari O, Hawthorne F, Spector TD, Karssen LC, Pirastu M, Murgia F, Ang W; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Mishra A, Montgomery GW, Pennell CE, Cumberland PM, Cotlarciuc I will will, Mitchell P, Wang JJ, Schache M, Janmahasatian S, Igo RP Jr, Lass JH, Chew E, Iyengar SK; Fuchs’ Genetics Multi-Center Study Group, Gorgels TG, Rudan I am, Hayward C, Wright AF, Polasek O, Vatavuk Z, Wilson JF, Fleck B, Zeller T, Mirshahi A, Müller C, Uitterlinden AG, Rivadeneira F, Vingerling JR, Hofman A, Oostra BA, Amin N, Bergen AA, Teo YY, Rahi JS, Vitart V, Williams C, Baird PN, Wong TY, Oexle K, Pfeiffer N, Mackey DA, Young TL, van Duijn CM, Saw SM, Bailey-Wilson JE, Stambolian D, Klaver CC, Hammond CJ. Genome-wide meta-analyses of multiancestry cohorts identify multiple new susceptibility loci for refractive error and myopia. Nat Genet. 2013 Mar;45(3):314-8. doi: 10.1038/ng.2554. Epub 2013 Feb 10. Erratum in: Nat Genet. 2013 Jun;45(2):712. Janmahasathian, Sarayut [corrected to Sarayut Janmahasatian].

  • Williams KM, Verhoeven VJ, Cumberland P, Bertelsen G, Wolfram C, Buitendijk GH, Hofman A, van Duijn CM, Vingerling JR, Kuijpers RW, Höhn R, Mirshahi A, Khawaja AP, Luben RN, Erke MG, von Hanno T, Mahroo O, Hogg R, Gieger C, Cougnard-Grégoire A, Anastasopoulos E, Bron A, Dartigues JF, Korobelnik JF, Creuzot-Garcher C, Topouzis F, Delcourt C, Rahi J, Meitinger T, Fletcher A, Foster PJ, Pfeiffer N, Klaver CC, Hammond CJ. Prevalence of refractive error in Europe: the European Eye Epidemiology (E(3)) Consortium. Eur J Epidemiol. 2015 Apr;30(4):305-15. doi: 10.1007/s10654-015-0010-0. Epub 2015 Mar 18.

  • Wojciechowski R, Hysi PG. Focusing in on the complex genetics of myopia. PLoS Genet. 2013 Apr;9(4):e1003442. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003442. Epub 2013 Apr 4.

  • Wojciechowski R. Nature & nurture: the complex genetics of myopia and refractive error. Clin Genet. 2011 Apr;79(4):301-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01592.x. Epub 2010 Dec 13. Review.

  • Wu PC, Huang HM, Yu HJ, Fang PC, Chen CT. Epidemiology of Myopia. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2016 Nov/Dec;5(6):386-393. Review.

  • Zhang Q. Genetics of Refraction & Myopia. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2015;134:269-79. doi: 10.1016/bs.pmbts.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 Jun 27. Review.

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    7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits, Vegetables

    By Rich

    Cleaning fruits and vegetables (1024x512)

    Red envelope icon Subscribe: FDA Consumer Health Information

    Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year, & some of the causes might surprise you.

    Although most people know animal products must be handled carefully to prevent illness, produce, too, can be the culprit in outbreaks of foodborne illness. In recent years, the United States has had several large outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated fruits & vegetables—including spinach, cantaloupe, tomatoes, & lettuce.

    Glenda Lewis, an expert on foodborne illness with the Food & Drug Administration, says fresh produce can become contaminated in many ways. During the growing phase, produce may be contaminated by animals, harmful substances in the soil or water, & poor hygiene among workers. After produce is harvested, it passes through many hands, increasing the contamination risk. Contamination can even occur after the produce has been purchased, during food preparation, or through inadequate storage.

    If possible, FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, & make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are either refrigerated or on ice both in the store & at home. In addition, follow these recommendations:

    1. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water & soap before & after preparing fresh produce.
    2. If damage or bruising occurs before eating or handling, cut away the damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.
    3. Rinse produce BEFORE you peel it, so dirt & bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
    4. Gently rub produce while holding under plain running water. There’s no need to use soap or a produce wash.
    5. Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as melons & cucumbers.
    6. Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
    7. Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.

    Lewis says consumers should store perishable produce in the refrigerator at or below 40 degrees.

    Updated: June 10, 2018

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    VA Partnership with National Cancer Institute Will Boost Veteran Access to Clinical Trials

    WASHINGTON - Today the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has formed a partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) which will provide more access to the latest treatment options for VA patients with cancer.
    • July 10th 2018 at 14:08

    NLM Technical Bulletin, Jul-Aug 2018, MEDLINE Milestone: 25 Millionth Journal Citation

    By Rich

    Table of Contents: 2018 JULY–AUGUST No. 423


    MEDLINE Milestone: 25 Millionth Journal Citation. NLM Tech Bull. 2018 Jul-Aug;(423):b5.

    2018 July 10 [posted]

    On June 22, 2018, MEDLINE attained a major milestone when the 25 millionth journal citation was added to the database. This count includes citations created from the OLDMEDLINE project.

    This PubMed search retrieves the running count for MEDLINE, which is currently over 25 million citations:
    medline [sb]
    This PubMed search retrieves the running count for MEDLINE minus the OLDMEDLINE subset, which is currently over 23 million citations:
    medline [sb] NOT jsubsetom


    NSF press conference on breakthrough in multimessenger astrophysics

    The aurora australis shines above NSF's IceCube Neutrino Observatory at NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

    Media are invited to attend a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) press conference announcing recent multi-messenger astrophysics findings led by NSF's IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

    Representatives from nearly two dozen observatories on Earth and in space that participated in the research will be in the room during the event and will be available to the media after the press conference concludes. Reporters watching the event remotely can send questions to ...

    More at

    This is an NSF News item.

    • July 9th 2018 at 19:10

    Aimed at Suicide Prevention, VA Shares Winners of Its ‘Gun Safety Matters Challenge'

    WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently selected three winners in its Gun Safety Matters Challenge, an open-innovation contest to develop cost-effective solutions for firearm storage, which Veterans and their families or friends could use to prevent suicide, injury or accidents.
    • July 9th 2018 at 13:51

    Now Playing at the Packard Campus (July 13-14, 2018)

    By Cary O’Dell

    The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson of the Packard Campus.

    A Florida Enchantment (Vitagraph, 1914)

    Friday, July 13 (7:30 p.m.)
    A Florida Enchantment (Vitagraph, 1914)
    At a Florida seaside resort Miss Lillian Travers, a young bride-to-be (Edith Storey) swallows a magic African seed which allows her to change gender in every way except outward appearance, much to the dismay of her fiancé, who soon finds both himself and his future wife flirting with the same women! More confusion ensues when Lillian slips a magic seed to both her future groom and her maid. Filmed in St. Augustine and St. Petersburg, Florida, this silent comedy was directed by Sidney Drew who also stars as the perplexed fiancé. Mrs. Sidney Drew, his frequent co-star, appears in a supporting role. 63 min., digital presentation. Two one reel comedy shorts are also on the program:  Behind the Footlights (Vim, 1916) starring Bobby Burns and Walter Stull and A Bath Tub Elopement (Eagle, 1916) starring Marcel Perez. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Andrew Simpson.

    Lilio & Stitch (Disney, 2002)

    Saturday, July 14 (2 p.m.)
    Lilo & Stitch (Disney, 2002)
    Lilo, a lonely orphaned Hawaiian girl being raised by her older sister, adopts an odd-looking dog she names “Stitch.”  Stitch turns out to be super-smart, super-strong and prone to induce pandemonium. It turns out that the “dog” is actually a notorious extra-terrestrial fugitive. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders (who also voices Stitch), this science fiction comedy-drama was Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature film. The combined critical and commercial success of the original film led to three direct-to-video and television sequel films, three animated television series, several video games, some theme park attractions, and various merchandise. Rated PG, 85 min. 35mm archival print.

    Saturday, July 14 (7:30 p.m.)
    Paris When it Sizzles (Paramount, 1964)                                                                    
    William Holden plays Rick, a screenwriter more focused on drunken carousing than writing. When faced with a looming deadline, he hires Gaby (Audrey Hepburn) as his assistant and together they blur the lines between reality and fantasy as they imagine themselves as various characters from the script, before ultimately falling in love. Noel Coward appears in a small role with cameo appearances by Marlene Dietrich, Tony Curtis and Hepburn’s then-husband Mel Ferrer. Directed by Richard Quine, this romantic comedy was not well received by critics when released but over the years has earned a reputation as a guilty pleasure for those who enjoy in-joke movie spoofs and an absurdist storyline played out against the glorious backdrop of the City of Light. 110 min. 35mm archival print.

    For more information on our programs, please visit the website at:

    LL’S Magnetic Clay Inc. Expands Allergy Alert On Undeclared Allergens In Prescript-Assist Dietary Supplement To All Lots

    By Rich

    LL’s Magnetic Clay, Inc. of Austin, Texas is recalling all lots of Prescript-Assist (still within expiration date), a dietary supplement it marketed until late 2017, because of its potential to contain undeclared allergens, including almonds, crustaceans, milk, casein, eggs, & peanuts. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to these specific types of allergens run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

    Prescript-Assist dietary supplement was distributed nationwide, including through online sales on the LL’s Magnetic Clay website and brick & mortar retailers. The Prescript-Assist product is available through distributors other than LL’s Magnetic Clay that purchased the product from the same source.

    All lots sold between 1/29/2015 – 12/31/2017 are potentially impacted. The white bottles contain capsules in quantities of either 60 or 90 capsules per bottle. A representative label is included below.

    No illnesses regarding these products have been reported to date.

    The recall was initiated after potential cGMP failures in the supply chain were identified by LL’s Magnetic Clay.

    Consumers who have purchased Prescript Assist from LL’s Magnetic Clay are urged to discontinue use & return it to LL’s Magnetic Clay for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company M-F, 9am-5pm at 1-800-257-3315.

    Link to Original Recall



    Baseball Stadiums and Maps: Chicago

    By Julie Stoner

    The following post is by Ed Redmond, a cartographic reference specialist in the Geography & Map Division.

    As part of the Library’s newly opened, yearlong exhibit Baseball Americana, the Geography and Map Division will be featuring several blog posts describing the depiction and history of baseball stadiums on maps in major American cities. As the only city that has had more than one Major League Baseball franchise every year since the establishment of the American league in 1901, Chicago is a great place to start!

    Historical baseball stadiums can be found mainly on two types of maps in the Geography and Map Division’s collections: panoramic maps and fire insurance maps. In the mid to late 19th century, local baseball diamonds in large cities were typically located near factories or industrial sites. The panoramic map, below, of Chicago published in 1892 shows a baseball diamond and grandstands near the railroad tracks and docks. One can only imagine that the proximity to the factory is associated with workers playing baseball at lunch or after work.

    The city of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    The City of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Detail of The city of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Detail of The City of Chicago. Currier & Ives, 1892. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    A more prevalent source for baseball stadiums on maps are large-scale fire insurance or real estate atlases of major American cities published in the late 19th century through the 1950s, which show the stadiums of many professional teams throughout the years. Fire insurance maps are highly detailed, large-scale maps of American towns and cities created for the purposes of helping fire insurance companies assess fire risk and insurance offerings for individual buildings. Today, these maps, especially those of the prolific Sanborn Map Company, provide a record of the built environment and changes over time.

    Chicago is currently home to the White Sox of the American League, who play on the south side of the city, and the Cubs of the National League, who play on the north side. The history of both teams’ stadiums can be seen in the fire insurance maps.

    The Chicago White Sox briefly played at South Side Park before moving to Comiskey Park in 1910. From 1911 until 1940, the Chicago American Giants, one of the most successful National Negro League baseball teams of all time, took over the park, seen on the Sanborn map below, and called it their home.

    Shorling Park or South Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 127, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Shorling Park or South Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 127, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    The first game at Comiskey Park was held on July 1, 1910. The baseball park served as home to the White Sox for 80 years until the team moved to a new and improved stadium in 1990. Comiskey Park can be seen in both the 1912 map and the 1950 map below, and the changes it went through are evident. In the 1950, the base line grandstands were made out of brick with iron pillars supporting a wooden roof, while in 1912, the outfield bleachers were entirely composed of wooden construction and the bleachers along the baselines had no roof.

    Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1912. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Comiskey Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 4, plate 49, 1950. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Meanwhile, on the north side of the city, the Chicago Cubs played at West Side Park from 1893 until 1915. Although the map shown below dates from 1917 when professional baseball was no longer played in the stadium, this first park was used for other spectator sports until it was torn down in 1920.

    West Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 7, plate 71, 1917. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    West Side Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 7, plate 71, 1917. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    Wrigley Field in Sanborn map.

    Wrigley Park. Sanborn Map Collection: Chicago, IL, vol. 9, plate 116, 1923. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

    The Cubs moved to a new stadium in 1916. From 1916 to the present day, the Cubs have played at what was first known as Weeghman Field, then Cubs Park, and lastly renamed Wrigley Field in 1927 in honor of the team’s owner and chewing gum magnate, William Wrigley. The park is the second-oldest in the majors after Fenway Park in Boston and the only remaining Federal League park.

    An interesting fact about Wrigley Field is that it was the last major league stadium to play all its home games during daylight hours, as there were no lights to illuminate night time games. Lights were not installed until 1988! With such a rich baseball past, it isn’t hard to trace the history of the sport in Chicago through maps.

    Crowd at Cubs Park. Photo by Kaufmann & Fabry Co., July 27, 1929. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

    Crowd at Cubs Park [Wrigley Field]. Photo by Kaufmann & Fabry Co., July 27, 1929. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

    VA's new ‘ChooseVA' campaign highlights Veteran benefits and services, aims to attract and retain employees

    WASHINGTON - Emphasizing a multitude of benefits and services to its 9 million Veteran customers, as well as promoting the organization as a great place to work, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) kicked off its new 'ChooseVA' marketing campaign July 5.
    • July 6th 2018 at 13:35

    At the Packard Campus Theater — August 2018

    By Cary O’Dell

    Spanning ninety years, the August schedule for The Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper features star-studded dramatic classics on the National Film Registry (Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce, Lana Turner in Imitation of Life and Bette Davis in Now, Voyager); a recent restoration of the 1922 Marion Davies historical romance When Knighthood was in Flower; animated feature matinees (Tangled and An American Tale) and La Strada, winner of the 1956 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as two Oscar nominated titles from this millennium: Flight starring Denzel Washington and Brokeback Mountain starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

    Also on the schedule are the romantic dramas Christopher Strong (1933) Magnificent Obsession (1935), Brief Encounter (1945), Home from the Hill and Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence (1993).

    Thursday, August 2 (7:30 p.m.)
    Mildred Pierce (Warner Bros., 1945)
    This quintessential Joan Crawford film features Crawford as a housewife turned successful restauranteur who sacrifices all for her ungrateful daughter (Ann Blyth). Ranald McDougall wrote the screenplay for this melodrama tinged with film noir which was directed by Michael Curtiz. Crawford, ably supported by strong performances from Blyth, Jack Carson and Eve Arden, won her only Oscar for this role. The film also received Oscar nominations for Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography by Ernest Haller and Best Supporting Actress for both Blyth and Arden. “Mildred Pierce” was added to the National Film Registry in 1996. 35mm archival print, 111 min.

    Friday, August 3 (7:30 p.m.)
    When Knighthood Was in Flower (Paramount, 1922)
    Marion Davies stars as Mary Tudor, sister of King Henry VIII, whom the king aims to use for political gain by offering her hand in marriage to King Louis XII of France. For period authenticity, no expense was spared on the production’s costumes, armor and tapestries or on Joseph Urban’s huge, lavish sets. The breakout role made Marion Davies a star. This will be a digital presentation of a new restoration that was scanned from an original 35mm nitrate print preserved by the Library of Congress. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Ben Model who released the film on DVD through Undercrank Productions in cooperation with the Library of Congress. Digital presentation, 115 min.

    Saturday, August 4 (2 p.m.)
    Tangled (Disney, 2010)
    Based on the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tale, this Disney animated feature tells the story of Rapunzel (Mandy Moore), stolen from the palace nursery as an infant and raised by the evil Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy), who locks her up in an enchanted tower and uses Rapunzel’s hair to continuously restore her youth. One day a handsome roguish thief called Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) arrives on the scene and Rapunzel seizes the opportunity to escape. Directed by Byron Howard and Nathan Greno, the film features a music score by Alan Menken. The song I See the Light, music by Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, was nominated for the Best Original Song Academy Award. Rated PG, 35mm archival print, 100 min.

    Saturday, August 4 (7:30 p.m.)
    Imitation of Life (Universal, 1959)
    In this second film adaptation of Fannie Hurst’s popular and controversial 1933 novel about race, sex, and class in America, Lana Turner stars as Lora Meredith, a career-driven actress with Juanita Moore as her friend Annie Johnson, a good-hearted black woman who shares her life, and whose troubled daughter (Susan Kohner) passes for white. The last film in a series of glossy “women’s picture” melodramas directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter, this remake offers an effective contrast to the more restrained style used by John Stahl in the 1934 version (previously selected for the National Film Registry), starring Claudette Colbert and Louise Beavers. Both Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner were nominated for Best Supporting Actress Oscars and the film invigorated the career of Lana Turner who had recently come thorough a particularly trying Hollywood scandal. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 2015. Digital presentation, 125 min.

    Thursday, August 9 (7:30 p.m.)
    La Strada (Dino de Laurentiis Distribuzione, 1954)
    The legendary Federico Fellini directs his wife, Giulietta Masina, as Gelsomina in the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With “La Strada,” Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. Winner of the first ever competitive Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Shown in Italian with English subtitles. 35mm archival print, 108 min.

    Friday, August 10 (7:30 p.m.)
    Brief Encounter (Eagle-Lion, 1945)
    After a chance meeting at a suburban British train station, a married doctor and a middle-class housewife find themselves drawn into a poignant romance. Adapted by Noel Coward from his one-act play, the film stars Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard as the proper and reserved lovers. Called by Sir Richard Attenborough “a landmark and touchstone” for the film industry, “Brief Encounter” established David Lean as a great director, with a sense of character and romantic fatalism that would be found in such later hits as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Doctor Zhivago. The film shared the 1946 Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and was Oscar nominated for Best Actress (Johnson), Best Director (Lean) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Digital presentation, 86 min.

     Saturday, August 11 (2 p.m.)
    An American Tail (Universal, 1986)
    In this animated musical adventure set in 1885, the Mousekewitzes, a Russian-Jewish family of mice, emigrate from Ukraine to America on a tramp steamer where they’ve been led to believe there are “no cats.” During a thunderstorm, young Fievel suddenly finds himself separated from his family and hopes to find a way to reunite with them once in New York. James Horner wrote the score for the film, and the song Somewhere Out There, composed by Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and sung by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram, won a Grammy Award for “Song of the Year,” as well as “Most Performed Song from a Motion Picture” from both the ASCAP and Broadcast Music Awards. Rated G. 35mm archival print, 80 min.

    Saturday, August 11 (7:30 p.m.)
    Home from the Hill (MGM, 1960
    Robert Mitchum stars as powerful Texas landowner Capt. Wade Hunnicutt in this epic family saga based on the novel by William Humphrey. The story explores the tangled relationships of Wade, his estranged wife Hannah (Eleanor Parker), their adult son Theron (George Hamilton), and his illegitimate son Rafe (George Peppard) from an earlier relationship. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, best-known at the time for sophisticated musicals such as An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958), Home from the Hill represents another genre in which he would win critical acclaim, particularly in later years — the melodrama. The film opened to strong reviews and both Mitchum and Peppard won acting awards for their roles from the National Board of Review. 35mm archival print, 150 min.

    Thursday, August 16 (7:30)
    Christopher Strong (RKO, 1933)
    After making a striking film debut in Bill of Divorcement (1932), RKO signed Katharine Hepburn to a long term contract and selected a story about a headstrong, individualistic woman for their new star’s follow-up feature. Playwright Zoe Akins adapted Gilbert Frankau’s novel about a prize-winning aviatrix who drifts into a potentially disastrous affair with the happily married British politician Christopher Strong (Colin Clive). To direct, producer David O. Selznick chose one of Hollywood’s few women directors, Dorothy Arzner. Actual newsreel footage of parades and famous flights added authenticity of the film which features Billie Burke, Helen Chandler and Jack LaRue in the cast. 35mm archival print, 78 min.

    Friday, August 17 (7:30 p.m.)
    Flight (Paramount, 2012)
    Denzel Washington stars as commercial airline pilot “Whip” Whitaker who astonishingly crash-lands his plane after it suffers an in-flight mechanical failure, saving nearly everyone on board. Hailed as a hero immediately following the incident, an investigation soon turns up evidence that sheds a negative light on the captain. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the action drama film received wide critical acclaim and earned a Best Original Screenplay nomination for John Gatins. Washington was nominated in the Best Actor category for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Award. MPAA Rated R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. 35mm archival print, 138 min.

     Saturday, August 18 (7:30 p.m.)
    Now, Voyager (Warner Bros., 1942)
    A resonant woman’s picture, Now, Voyager features Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale, a dowdy spinster terrorized by her possessive mother (Gladys Cooper) and on the verge of a nervous breakdown. While undergoing treatment at a sanatorium, a caring psychiatrist (played by Clause Rains) suggests that Charlotte go on a cruise, where she finds love with Jerry Durrance (Paul Henreid). The compassionate therapy and later improbable romance transforms her into a confident, independent woman. Davis and Cooper were both Oscar nominated and Max Steiner won for Best Music. Now, Voyager was Bette Davis’ biggest box office hit of the ’40s. It was added to the National Film Registry in 2007. 35mm archival print, 117 min.

     Thursday, August 23 (7:30 p.m.)
    The Age of Innocence (Columbia, 1993)
    Martin Scorsese, in a departure from his usual gritty crime epics, directed this opulent adaptation of Edith Wharton’s 1921 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of manners and social mores in 19th-century New York. Daniel Day Lewis stars as a well-connected, socially correct lawyer, who risks his future place in society when he falls in love with his fiancee’ May’s married cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer). The film won an Oscar for Costume Design, and Winona Ryder was nominated in the supporting acting category for her nuanced performance as the charming but passive May. Other nominations included art direction, score by Elmer Bernstein, and screenplay by Scorsese and film critic Jay Cocks. Rated PG. 35mm archival print, 139 min.

    Friday, August 24 (7:30 p.m.)
    Magnificent Obsession (Universal, 1935)
    Robert Taylor stars as self-absorbed millionaire playboy Robert Merrick whose reckless ways indirectly cause the death of a beloved local doctor. As Merrick tries to make amends to the man’s widow, Helen (Irene Dunne), his long journey from selfish cad to compassionate savior becomes a magnificent obsession. John M. Stahl directed this first film adaptation of Lloyd C. Douglas’ 1929 best-selling novel that had been something of a phenomenon for its message of enriching one’s own life through philanthropy and acts of compassion done in secret. Later remade by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, this romantic drama was a big hit that catapulted Taylor, up until then a light leading man, to stardom. 35mm archival print, 112 min.

    Saturday, August 25 (7:30 p.m.)
    Brokeback Mountain (Focus, 2005)
    Set against the sweeping vistas of Wyoming and Texas, Brokeback Mountain is the story of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy – who meet in the summer of 1963 when they are hired as sheep herders, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection that provides a testament to the endurance and power of love. Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams, the film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three: Best Director (Ang Lee), Best Adapted Screenplay (Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry), and Best Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla).  Adapted from the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx, winner of the 2018 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. MPAA Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence. No one under the
    age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian. 35mm archival print, 134 min.

    The NSF 2026 Idea Machine

    The NSF 2026 Idea Machine This is a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by NSF.

    More at

    This is an NSF News item.

    • July 5th 2018 at 15:34

    Double Take: FSA Photographer at Work, Cameras in Hand

    By Kristi Finefield

    The following is a guest post by Jan Grenci, Reference Specialist for Posters, Prints and Photographs Division. This post is the latest entry in the occasional Double Take series, where we take a closer look at images.

    As a reference specialist, it should come as no surprise that I enjoy doing research. What may surprise you is how a little good old-fashioned research can increase your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject, in this case the working methods of Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographer Marion Post Wolcott.

    A little background: I often explore in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) using the “browse neighboring items by call number” feature in order to see the photos filed before and after the one in question. I also open the high resolution digital files of photographs to better study the details.

    Recently, I was preparing for a tour on the subject of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Photograph Collection. I try to always show portraits of some of the FSA photographers and I usually show this image of Marion Post Wolcott:

    Marion Post Wolcott with Ikoflex III and Speed Graphic in hand in Montgomery County, Maryland. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    Marion Post Wolcott with Ikoflex III and Speed Graphic in hand in Montgomery County, Maryland. Photo by Arthur Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    When I was looking at the online record for this image, I decided to “browse neighboring items by call number, as highlighted below.” When I did that I found two images of Ms. Post Wolcott that I had never seen before! These photos were previously untitled so they wouldn’t be retrieved in any online searches for Marion Post Wolcott. Untitled photos are those that were not captioned or printed for use by the FSA, often because they were duplicative of other photos.

    Screenshot from Prints and Photographs Online Catalog with “Browse neighboring items by call number” link.

    Screenshot of results of “Browse neighboring items by call number” feature in Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Arrow points from initial photo to related photo of Post Wolcott.

    [Untitled negative showing Marion Post Wolcott standing in snow with cameras] Photo by Arthur, Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    [Untitled negative showing Marion Post Wolcott standing in snow with cameras] Photo by Arthur Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    [Untitled negative showing Marion Post Wolcott standing in snow with cameras] Photo by Arthur, Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    [Untitled negative showing Marion Post Wolcott standing in snow with cameras] Photo by Arthur Rothstein, 1940 Jan.

    Now that I found Post Wolcott, I wanted to see what other details I could add to the caption information for the photos. She has two cameras with her, and I knew I wouldn’t be happy until I learned more about them. Because of the size and the quality of the high resolution scans and the sharpness of the original negatives from which the scans were made, it was easy to see which two cameras Post Wolcott was using on that cold January day in 1940.

    One of the cameras is a twin lens reflex Ikoflex. I consulted an Ikoflex Guide published in 1957 from the Library’s general collections to more specifically identify the camera as an Ikoflex III. The III, which was only produced between 1939 and 1940, was distinguished from earlier models by the clear Albada viewfinder.

    Pre-War Ikoflex Models from Emanuel, Walter Daniel. Ikoflex Guide: How to Make Full Use of your Ikoflex (New York: Focal Press, 1957). Catalog record:

    “Pre-War Ikoflex Models” from Emanuel, Walter Daniel, Ikoflex Guide: How to Make Full Use of your Ikoflex (New York: Focal Press, 1957). Catalog record:

    I recognized the camera Post Wolcott is holding to her eye as a Speed Graphic, a camera commonly used by professionals at that time. As many of Post Wolcott’s negatives from 1940 are sized 3 ¼” x 4 ¼”, I would say that she is likely using a 3 ¼” x 4 ¼” pre-anniversary model Speed Graphic. The U.S. Camera Publishing Corporation published the U.S. Camera Annual; one of the features of the Annual was the best photos of the year as chosen by Edward Steichen. Technical information such as the camera and film type used as well as camera settings were included with some of the selected photos. A photo by Post Wolcott that appears in the 1943 U.S. Camera Annual is noted as being taken with such a camera.

    Detail from U.S. Camera Annua 1943, edited by T.J. Maloney (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1943), p. 163.

    Detail from U.S. Camera Annual 1943, edited by T.J. Maloney (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1943), p. 163.

    A different U.S. Camera Annual helped me with one more detail in the photo. I could see that in addition to the two cameras, Post Wolcott also had a light meter around her neck, an important tool for determining exposure. But only the back of the light meter was showing, making it a little trickier to identify.

    I decided to look at the advertisements in the back of the 1939 U.S. Camera Annual, the one published close to the time of the photo, to see if I could find a light meter shaped like the one around Post Wolcott’s neck. Well, the research gods must have been smiling down on me because I found the ad featured below!

    Eureka! The Weston 650 looked to be a match. And through the miracle of the internet, I found some Weston 650’s for sale. A few of the online advertisements for the meters included photos of the back of the meter, so I could be sure it was the same as Post Wolcott’s.

    I had a match! And now I have my own meter – and a piece of photography’s technological past!

    Detail from <em>U.S. Camera Annual 1939</em>, edited by T.J. Maloney (New York: William Morrow & Company), p. 212.

    Detail from U.S. Camera Annual 1939, edited by T.J. Maloney (New York: William Morrow & Company), p. 212.

    [Untitled] Photo, between 1935 and 1942.

    [Untitled] Photo, between 1935 and 1942.

    Late-breaking research bulletin! Further exploration using the “browse neighboring items” tool found yet more previously untitled photo portraits of Marion Post Wolcott at work, including the one featured lower right. View untitled photo #1, photo #2 and photo #3.  We will now update the title information on these records as well!

    Learn More:

    My Job at the Library: Bringing Collections to the Public Through Books

    By Wendi Maloney

    This post is reprinted from “Baseball Nation: Still Indivisible,” the July–August 2018 issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. Issues of the magazine are available online.

    Susan Reyburn. Photo by Shawn Miller.

    Susan Reyburn of the Library’s Publishing Office writes and edits books that help make Library collections more accessible to the public. Over the years, she’s worked on book projects related to football, World War II and the Magna Carta.

    In 2009, Reyburn co-authored “Baseball Americana,” a volume exploring baseball treasures in the Library’s collections. Now, she is serving as curator of a major new exhibition of the same name, which opened at the Library on June 29.

    Here, Reyburn talks about her work and the Library’s baseball collections.

    How would you describe your work at the Library?
    It’s always interesting and at times eclectic. In the Publishing Office, we produce books and other products, such as calendars and quiz decks, based on the Library’s collections. Our role is to help make the collections more accessible to the public through what we publish.

    With 167 million or so items here, we have no shortage of topics to consider or resources to explore each year. So, we excavate, research, write, edit and meet with Library subject experts on a variety of things.

    How did you prepare for your position?
    For this job, having a background in history has been really helpful. I have a bachelor’s in history and did a master’s program in library science, specializing in cultural-heritage management. After working in private industry – editing and preparing economic and environmental-impact reports – I did the publication-specialist certificate program at George Washington University in a single, crazed summer.

    We covered a lot of territory, and it was ideal preparation for working in our small office at the Library, where we each wear multiple hats – sometimes even stacked up.

    What book projects have you especially enjoyed?
    Our books on baseball and football were great fun; I knew we had a lot sports material here, but just how much and the variety was a revelation. “The Library of Congress World War II Companion” was a huge collaborative and endlessly fascinating effort, and it was great to go through the original first-person accounts of servicemen and women in the Veterans History Project. We also interviewed veterans, including some who had not discussed their wartime experiences much before, and a marvelous woman who had been a WASP (in the Women Airforce Service Pilots). Those interviews are now in the VHP collections.

    And I loved researching the history of Magna Carta’s adventures and its unexpectedly lengthy residency at the Library during World War II – with two of those years in hiding at Fort Knox – for a chapter in a book that accompanied the “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor” exhibition.

    I’ve also enjoyed working with Library curators and experts on their books, because they are passionate and enthusiastic about their subjects, and they know more about them than we can ever put in the book.

    What are your favorite baseball items in the Library’s collections and why?
    I am so taken by “A Little Pretty Pocket Book” (first American edition, 1787). This aptly named tome, only a few inches in length, appears in the “Baseball Americana” exhibition. It contains the first known printed reference to baseball in America and includes a woodcut drawing that shows wooden posts being used as bases.

    This is baseball as a folk game, exactly a century before professional teams would pose in carpeted photography studios with balls hanging by string from the ceiling for the first sets of baseball cards in 1887.

    The early baseball cards and early rule books are wonderful examples of a game that is definitely recognizable but is still coming into its own as a major sport.

    Bob Hope Collection Update

    By Karen Fishman

    The following is a guest post by David Jackson, Archivist, Bob Hope Collection, Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation.

    Bob Hope Collection. 

    I’m entering the home stretch of my project to process the manuscript materials in the Bob Hope Collection and wanted to present a brief look at what’s now available for researchers. Processed material has been entered into a draft finding aid that can be accessed through staff at the Library of Congress’s Recorded Sound Research Center. The finding aid will not be published until the completion of this project.

    William Robert Faith, in his book Bob Hope: A Life in Comedy, describes three record series within the papers: the Bob Hope Joke Files (BHJF), Bob Hope Personal Files (BHPF), and Hope Enterprises Public Relations Files (HEPRF). While the latter two, consisting of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and business records, are still undergoing processing, the first of these series is now available. The Joke Files consist of hundreds of linear feet of scripts, material, correspondence, and records covering the creative output of Bob Hope’s career in film, radio, and television, as well as his numerous personal appearances.

    Bob Hope Collection. 

    The film series consists of scripts from every one of theatrical features. The 25 linear feet of material ranges widely for each production. For many of his earliest films, produced in-house by Paramount Studios, a single copy of the script may exist. As Hope’s fame and clout grew, he won the right to have his personal staff of writers “punch up” the scripts, and their joke material is usually included. Hope eventually graduated to self-producing several of his own films later in his career, and these files may include correspondence, publicity material, production memos, and numerous script revisions. A quick word on the principle of original order – it’s the idea that the archivist respects the collection creators’ organizational principles, unless a case can be made for altering it. In the case of the films, Hope’s staff consistently organized the files, both in the papers and the photo archive, alphabetically by title, and this is maintained within the collection.

    Bob Hope looking at files in his office. Bob Hope Collection. 

    130 linear feet of the collection is devoted to the television files, containing scripts, writers’ material, production memos, correspondence, etc., for all of Hope’s TV specials. Chronologically, this ranges from his appearance on the very first commercial broadcast on the west coast in 1947, to his final shows in the 1990’s. Notes concerning principal guest stars and production locations outside of Hollywood are given where known. Included are files for all of Hope’s overseas USO tours from 1950 onwards, as these tie directly to the television specials which resulted from them.  It also includes scores of television guest appearances, whether scripted shows, interview programs, telethons, or awards show such as the Oscars. A small subseries consists of scripts for the mid-1960’s program Bob Hope presents the Chrysler Theatre, an anthology series of comedies and dramas introduced by (and occasionally featuring) Hope.

    Bob Hope with Marjorie Hughes looking at script files in vault. Bob Hope Collection.

    A related 16 linear foot series of material consists of scripts, treatments, and proposals for numerous unproduced films and television series. Some of the projects eventually morphed into realized productions, while others were eventually abandoned. Some of the more interesting projects included attempts to produce biopics of Walter Winchell and Rocky Marciano, as well an eighth Road picture with Bing Crosby (and briefly, George Burns). Several proposals for situation comedies are included.

    The radio series consists of 61 linear feet of material from Hope’s more than twenty year career in radio. Included are scripts from Hope’s early shows, such as The Intimate Revue and The Atlantic Family. The real heart of this series is the ten year run of The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope (1938-1948), a creative and cultural peak for this phase of Hope’s career. The material for the Pepsodent Show was originally organized into separate files, one consisting of just the scripts, and one containing the sketch material. It was decided to integrate these two files into one, so that all of the material for a given episode would be collocated together.

    Marjorie Hughes and Bernadette Kinney filing scripts and transcription discs. Bob Hope Collection. 

    Bob’s subsequent shows through 1956, including the two year run of his daily morning series, fill out the remainder of the radio files. Material is generally arranged chronologically by episode, with notes on principle guests stars added as an aid to searching. An appendix to this series consists of 2.5 linear feet of scripts from numerous radio plays that Hope performed in, on such series as Lux Radio Theatre and Screen Directors Playhouse. Left out of the radio files are Hope’s numerous guest appearances as himself on other radio programs, such as Bing Crosby’s shows or the numerous patriotic and charity broadcasts Hope featured on during World War II. These scripts were filed in the personal appearance files (discussed below), and it was decided to maintain them in that series.

    The personal appearance series contains a 106 linear feet of material from Hope’s numberless live performances, camp shows, benefits, graduation and awards ceremonies, golf tournaments, and even vacations. In additional to Hope’s joke, monologue, and speech materials, typical files include correspondence, press releases, and even research about the community, organization, or event.  As stated above, it also contains Hope’s radio guest appearances through the early 1950s, but not his guest spots on TV, in accord with the existing organizational scheme.

    Bob Hope with Joke Files.  Bob Hope Collection.

    Finally, there’s the joke file itself, a 40 linear foot run of reproductions culled from the material in the series described above, and rearranged according to subject matter. Through this file, Hope’s staff could repurpose decades worth of material – an important tool for a comedian who specialized in topical humor. The main run surveys jokes from across Hope’s career, but a small subset consists of a gag file that was compiled sometime in the late 1930s, providing an interesting look at topics that recurred in Hope’s comedy in those early days. A parallel run consists of “unchecked” jokes–material that didn’t make the cut but was kept around for future consideration.

    I encourage researchers who are interested in all of these creative outputs of Hope’s career to contact the Recorded Sound Research Center.

    Genetics Home Reference: microcephaly, seizures, & developmental delay

    By Rich
  • Dumitrache LC, McKinnon PJ. Polynucleotide kinase-phosphatase (PNKP) mutations and neurologic disease. Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Jan;161(Pt A):121-129. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.04.009. Epub 2016 Apr 26. Review.

  • Poulton C, Oegema R, Heijsman D, Hoogeboom J, Schot R, Stroink H, Willemsen MA, Verheijen FW, van de Spek P, Kremer A, Mancini GM. Progressive cerebellar atrophy and polyneuropathy: expanding the spectrum of PNKP mutations. Neurogenetics. 2013 Feb;14(1):43-51. doi: 10.1007/s10048-012-0351-8. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

  • Reynolds JJ, Walker AK, Gilmore EC, Walsh CA, Caldecott KW. Impact of PNKP mutations associated with microcephaly, seizures & developmental delay on enzyme activity and DNA strand break repair. Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Aug;40(14):6608-19. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks318. Epub 2012 Apr 15.

  • Shen J, Gilmore EC, Marshall CA, Haddadin M, Reynolds JJ, Eyaid W, Bodell A, Barry B, Gleason D, Allen K, Ganesh VS, Chang BS, Grix A, Hill RS, Topcu M, Caldecott KW, Barkovich AJ, Walsh CA. Mutations in PNKP cause microcephaly, seizures & defects in DNA repair. Nat Genet. 2010 Mar;42(3):245-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.526. Epub 2010 Jan 31.

  • Shimada M, Dumitrache LC, Russell HR, McKinnon PJ. Polynucleotide kinase-phosphatase enables neurogenesis via multiple DNA repair pathways to maintain genome stability. EMBO J. 2015 Oct 1;34(19):2465-80. doi: 10.15252/embj.201591363. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

  • Weinfeld M, Mani RS, Abdou I will, Aceytuno RD, Glover JN. Tidying up loose ends: the role of polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase in DNA strand break repair. Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 May;36(5):262-71. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Feb 25. Review.

  • Source:

    Folklife at the International Level: the Roots of Intangible Cultural Heritage Part II, with Valdimar Tr. Hafstein

    By Michelle Stefano

    Professor Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, University of Iceland. ©Kristinn Ingvarsson, Prófessorí þjóðfræði, used by permission

    In the last post, the Folklife at the International Level series took a turn into the world of “intangible cultural heritage” (ICH), a category of heritage on the global stage that developed decades ago, thanks to the joint efforts of WIPO and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As noted, since the late 1980s, ‘ICH’ – as it is known and used today – is most connected to the work of UNESCO, through a series of initiatives and programs that led the way for the increasingly popular 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of today. The next couple of posts in this series will make stops along the path of the 2003 Convention’s history, exploring some of those ‘pre-cursor’ initiatives from the late 1980s to the early 2000s and the debates they sparked in the international heritage discourse and associated sector. Such debates brought to light issues that still persist; in broad terms, they reflect tensions arising from applying cultural policy that derives its strength at international and national levels to sustaining living and ever-changing cultural heritage at the local level, where it is almost always given its life.

    Nonetheless, exploring the roots of the ICH concept, especially the forces that gave it global momentum during earlier years, takes us back once again to its roots as mainly a pursuit of protecting living cultural expressions as intellectual property. Luckily, these roots are rather gnarly and twisted, making for an interesting story to explore – one that has been argued, as we shall see, to constitute folklore in and of itself. Even more luckily, I was able to interview a leading scholar in cultural heritage studies, and of ICH policy in particular, Valdimar Tr. Hafstein, Professor of Folklore and Ethnology at the University of Iceland. He is the former Chair of Iceland’s National Commission for UNESCO and ex-president of the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), and is the author of a number of scholarly articles and books on ICH, cultural property, international heritage politics, copyright in traditional knowledge, and the history of folklore studies. His book, Making Intangible Heritage: El Condor Pasa and Other Stories from UNESCO, with Indiana University Press, will be published later this year and is accompanied by the film, The Condor’s Flight: A Letter, a Song and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage (30 min, 2018), co-produced with Áslaug Einarsdóttir.

    The following interview begins by looking at cultural heritage more broadly, before getting into Hafstein’s sharp insights into both studying and recounting the ‘making of ICH,’ as well as the potential relationships between ICH and folklore studies.

    Michelle Stefano: You argue that at its core, “cultural heritage” is about change. What do you mean?

    Valdimar Tr. Hafstein: I find it helpful to compare the concept of cultural heritage to another powerful concept, the environment. Both of these are recent terms, coined in the 19th century, both entered common speech only in the last fifty years, and only became as ubiquitous as they are now in the last thirty years. Intangible heritage is of course more recent still. But despite their recent vintage, these concepts are incredibly powerful: activist groups have organized around them, they are forces to reckon with in public opinion, and authoritative institutions have formed around them. In the past half century, the concept of the environment has had a profound (if insufficient) impact on how we conceive of the material world and how we act upon it. There have long been rivers and oceans and atmosphere, but the importance of the environment is that it creates a connection between water pollution in a Mexican village and rising sea levels in Amsterdam; it ties together the depletion of cod stocks around Newfoundland and smog in Beijing. Most importantly, the environment makes common cause for the people affected. I hasten to add that I’m not writing this as a climate skeptic: there is no question as to whether the environment actually exists; it is a category of things, an instrument for classifying the world and therefore also for changing it. Categories of this kind have performative power. They make themselves real. By acting on the world, molding it in their image, they bring themselves into being.

    If the environment is one such concept, cultural heritage is another. Much like the environment, cultural heritage is a new category of things, lumped together in novel ways under its rubric; things as motley as buildings, monuments, swords, songs, jewelry, visual patterns, religious paraphernalia, literature, healing dances, and woodcarving traditions. The things themselves are not new, but the category is, and heritage is a new way to think about them and offers new ways to act on them. Like the environment, heritage does not seek to describe the world; it changes the world. Just like the environment, the major use of heritage is to mobilize people and resources, to reform discourses, and to transform practices. Like the environment, then, heritage is about change. Don’t let the talk of preservation fool you: all heritage is change. ICH is a prime example, dating only from the turn of the century, a term smacking of bureaucratese, concocted inside an international organization, and yet within a few years people in various corners of the world referred to their own practices as their “ICH,” governments mobilized to safeguard that ICH, to promote it, educate about it, to program it, etc., changing people’s relationship to their practices and therefore also the practices themselves.

    MS:  How did you come to study the machinations of UNESCO?

    VTrH: I did fieldwork as a participant observer on the Intergovernmental Committee [for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage] in UNESCO that drafted the 2003 Convention, as part of the Icelandic delegation, and as an NGO representative on WIPO’s Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. At the time I really was not sure if it was bona fide fieldwork, bona fide ethnography, bona fide folklore. For sure, the stuff I heard diplomats discuss in Paris and Geneva was the stuff we study as folklore: from oral traditions to traditional medicinal knowledge, from folk music to festivals, from crafts to rituals to cultural spaces. I even recall entire days in WIPO meetings given over to the question of how to define folklore, with lawyers from different parts of the world recycling arguments from the last one-hundred-and-fifty years of folklore’s disciplinary history (a source of no small amusement for a folklorist at the back of the room).

    So, granted, the lawyers spoke about folklore. But was I really doing the work of a folklorist? And is it really fieldwork if the field site has marble floors and glass elevators? Or if I wear a suit? Several colleagues have actually posed these questions at academic conferences and in anonymous peer-reviews. Some have suggested I ought to study something different, go somewhere else, talk to other people, and see how things work “on the ground.” I confess I had moments of doubt, but my answer remains the same: yes, we must go elsewhere too, and yes, this is all very meta, but for all that, this is as real a field as any other; a field, moreover, that it is crucial to enter, analyze, understand, and criticize. It neither looks nor feels quite like the fields to which folklorists and anthropologists have traditionally taken their questions, but then again, it is high time to liberate our disciplinary imagination.

    I think it is our responsibility as folklorists to follow the concepts we create or have a hand in shaping – folklore, tradition, traditional knowledge, expressive culture, cultural spaces, cultural heritage – not only into the street, the plaza, or the home, but also into the studio and the pharmaceutical industry, into government offices, electoral politics, and, yes, into intergovernmental committees.

    MS: What drew you into tracing the history of ICH?

    VTrH: I’m a sucker for good stories. The UN is full of them. A number of stories account for the origins of the 2003 Convention. I heard them during fieldwork, first as a participant observer in the meetings where the 2003 Convention was drafted, and then as an observant participant in meetings after it entered into force [in 2006]. The stories came up in interviews and conversations, in offices and corridors and elevators, in coffee breaks and over dinner. I also came across references to them, short and long, in archives and publications. These were fascinating to me, for to account for origins is to explain, to rationalize, and to validate. Recounting or referring to these stories, people give meaning to what they are up to or what they propose to do.

    Stories that recite the origins of ICH are set in the Andes, in Japan, and in Morocco, and they take us to New York and Paris, and eventually around the world. This is metafolklore, or metaheritage, if you prefer; UN folklore about folklore and its protection. Bringing the perspective of a folklorist to these narratives, I recount them in order to get at their uses, their structure, their performance, and their affects; to appreciate how they help imagine coherence, conjure up contrast, and provide charters for action. And no surprise, though the storytellers and audiences may be dressed in suits and ties or skirt-suits and scarves, the stories they tell rehearse well-known themes from folk narrative tradition, recycling traditional motifs and well-worn plots.

    MS: You have conducted extensive research into the origins of today’s global ICH policy, which has often been presented as centering on a famous 1973 letter from the Bolivian Minister of External Relations and Religious Affairs to the Director-General of UNESCO. What was this letter about?

    VTrH: I had heard many people refer to this letter when, with some help from UNESCO’s head archivist, I dug it up from the archives in the basement of UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. It took a bit of searching. The letter is brief, but a detailed memorandum accompanies it. Here, the Bolivian Minister impresses upon the international community how urgent it is to take action to protect folklore – folk music, folk dance and craft – against exploitation and misappropriation. He cites a survey by his ministry on the international protection of culture, which found that only material culture – buildings and objects – were protected by international conventions, but that UNESCO offered no protection to expressive culture, which was, according to the Minister, “at present undergoing the most intensive clandestine commercialization and export, in a process of commercially oriented transculturation destructive of the traditional cultures.” The memorandum describes these threats and their effects and argues for the need to add protection for folklore to international copyright conventions and to organize a joint international effort to safeguard folklore.

    This letter from the Bolivian Minister is very often credited with inscribing folklore on the international agenda. As the story would have it, the one told in the UN, this got the ball rolling. Thirty years later, in 2003, that ball hit the goal in UNESCO’s 2003 Convention; in WIPO, it’s still in play. But the story also motivates the letter: the “most intensive clandestine commercialization and export” to which the Minister refers, the story informs us, is first and foremost one act of appropriation: that of the song, “El Condor Pasa,” on Simon and Garfunkel’s 1970 album, Bridge over Troubled Water, a traditional folksong from the Andes that Simon and Garfunkel performed to great critical acclaim and commercial success, but without any of the royalties going back to the source communities. The story told about the letter thus sketches a clash between the multinational music industry, represented by Simon & Garfunkel, and on the other hand the Bolivian government, which rises to the defense of a simple, defenseless folk tune, championing and protecting it along with other expressions of folk culture, and enlisting (with the letter to UNESCO’s Director-General) the aid of other governments to fight a good fight in defense of vernacular culture that culminates, 30 years later, in UNESCO’s 2003 Convention. It’s a great success story and a motivational story for people working toward creating that Convention and, later, on implementing it. It sets international diplomacy and cultural work to a tune we can whistle.

    MS: Yet, you have discovered that the story is much more complex, as covered in great detail in your forthcoming book and its accompanying film…

    VTrH: Well, yes: stories we tell about ourselves sometimes reveal more than we know, more than we would like. At closer look, this story turned out to be more intricate: the song’s provenance is more complicated, questions of ownership and appropriation more nuanced, and the ethics of protection are not as straightforward as the story makes them out to be. The story turns out to be pretty fascinating actually, with a twisting plot, a colorful set of characters, and a red herring. And the lessons we may infer from it directly contradict those usually drawn from it.

    MS: Based on your research, you have just co-produced a documentary film, which presents this multi-layered and fascinating origins story. What do you hope to accomplish with the film, and what are some reactions to it that you have encountered?

    VTrH: The film is now touring a few conferences and film festivals, but it will officially be out this fall and available online. On one level, the film tracks the circulation and transformations of this song, known to us as “El Condor Pasa,” in its endless variations and covers: from the Andes mountains to global metropoles; from Lima to Paris to New York, and back; from panpipes to piano and from symphony orchestras to the disco; from indigenous to popular music; and from world music back to national heritage. Some of the protagonists are: Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Daniel Alomía Robles, Los Incas, the Cerro de Pasco Copper Company, the Victor Talking Machine Corporation, the Falangist Socialist Party of Bolivia, Chuck Berry, NASA and UNESCO. On another level, the film recounts the traditional story about the song circulating primarily within the UN, and queries how it is told and to what ends. On a third level, the film offers its own story about cultural protection, questioning its logic by examining the narrative offered to justify the protection of ICH, adding nuance and context to it. Ultimately, the film queries the relationship between protection and dispossession.

    The film is designed for classroom use, as an educational resource for undergraduate and graduate classes in folklore, anthropology, world music, and heritage studies. Some colleagues and friends have already used it successfully for that purpose. But then I also hope that heritage workers, cultural administrators and policy makers will see the film. I’ve been invited to screen it at WIPO, and I hope to screen it on the UNESCO circuit as well. There is also, I think, a broad international audience for this film, thanks to the international success of the 2003 Convention, so while the spoken language in the film is English, it now also comes with subtitles in Chinese (by folklorist Juwen Zhang), Italian (by folklorist Fabio Mugnaini), and Icelandic, and I’m hoping to get it translated into Spanish and French at least, with hopefully more languages to follow. Indeed, Juwen Zhang plans to show the film in the Chinese Ministry of Culture, so it is making the rounds.

    MS: Why is it important to understand this history?

    Letters from the folklorist and Director of the Folklore Section of the Ministry of Public Education, Peru, José María Arguedas, who was involved in an exchange of recordings (undertaken between the mid-1940s and early 1950s) with the Archive of American Folk Song (AFC predecessor), resulting in the AFC collection: Peru Ministerio de Educacion Publica collection of folk music. In the 1960s, Arguedas was also a key contact for Alan Lomax in obtaining recordings of Peruvian traditional music for his Cantometrics research project.

    VTrH: Taking these stories from UNESCO – stories that make grand claims, stories of origins and success stories – I recount them in order to complicate them. Adding context and nuance, they gain critical complexity that undermines their moral imperative. Refusing to stop at the success story’s happily-ever-after casts a different light on all that goes before it. It is no less important to refuse to begin only at “Once upon a time.” The beginning represents an arbitrary cut-off point, concealing what came before. Reaching back prior to that point may radically alter our understanding of what comes after. The provenance of “El Condor Pasa” and its cosmopolitan circulation in the 20th century, for example, offers a very different vantage point on the story often told in UNESCO about Simon & Garfunkel’s alleged appropriation of an indigenous Andean melody and how it motivated the Bolivian government to write a letter in 1973 soliciting UNESCO’s support to protect what eventually became known as ICH.

    Disrupting the general understanding of how ICH became a UNESCO priority, cutting into the linear origin story opens alternative perspectives on safeguarding. Knowing that the 1973 letter was sent by a fascist serving as foreign minister in one of the most brutal military regimes in Latin American history, a dictatorship that oppressed and dispossessed indigenous peoples in Bolivia, is surely an invitation to consider the question: if ICH is the solution, what was the problem again?

    Narrative is a critical device. This approach refuses closure; it seeks instead to open policies and practices up to scrutiny and imagination. The origin story demonstrates the critical capacities of narrative. Going back to the beginning, revising genesis – taking a different starting point, amplifying suppressed voices, undoing erasures – brings back into view long buried hatchets and disagreements; along with them, it exhumes roads not taken, missed opportunities, and options dispensed with. Recounting genesis differently is a way to retrieve, as Pierre Bourdieu once remarked, “the possibility that things could have been (and still could be) otherwise.”

    MS: On a final note, how can the field of folklore contribute to and make use of the work underway with ICH?

    VTrH: As modernity’s storyteller, folklore studies can add critical edge to ICH. That is one task for the field of folklore in the domain of heritage. But there are other tasks. Those of the archivist, for example, who inventories cultural practices; the curator who interprets them; the teacher who educates people about them; and the culture broker who builds bridges and brings people together across their differences.

    Perhaps the most encouraging upshot of the creation of ICH – the concept and the Convention – is that it brings together diverse practices and various people whom before inhabited different cultural categories. There is no finer demonstration of the performative power of concepts and their creative possibility. The concept invites us to imagine what unites diverse customs, cultural practices, and traditional expressions. What singing has in common with knitting. What building has in common with dancing. What cooking has in common with carving, or acupuncture with playing the accordion. Here lie opportunities to explore and meetings to broker. We can reach out, foster collaboration and promote alliances.

    What unites them (and I take inspiration from Dell Hymes here) is the aesthetic capacity to make beauty, form, and meaning out of innumerable particular circumstances; the capability to relate to previous generations through expressions and practices that rehearse their words, sounds, gestures; and the social ability to share these with others. This is the creative dynamic at the heart of folklore and of that part of it now also known as ‘ICH.’ The 2003 Convention, flawed as it is, imperfect and inadequate and sometimes counter-productive, is about enabling this dynamic. To stand a chance of sometimes succeeding, I think it needs the critical eye, the caring hand, and the cross-cutting perspective of folklore studies.

    And one of the things I’ve come to realize is that we have always been there. Whether in leading or supporting roles, we figure in the history of ICH and its stories of origins from beginning to end: from Daniel Alomía Robles to José María Arguedas, from Alan Lomax to Richard Kurin, just to throw a few names out there. In the end, the story of intangible heritage is also a story about the discipline of folklore and the “folklorization” of the public sphere: a sedimentation of the field’s perspectives and knowledge over time into everyday life, shaping people’s attitudes to their own culture and the way they represent it to others. And that, I think, is at the heart of the mission of our field, its specific mandate among the humanities and social sciences.

    Acne Breakouts: Controlling Problem Pimples

    By Rich

    Controlling Problem Pimples

    Zits. Pimples. Spots. Whatever you call it, acne can cause discomfort & embarrassment. This skin condition affects most people at some point during their lives. About 4 out of every 5 people experience acne outbreaks between the ages of 11 and 30.

    Acne starts in the skin’s oil glands. The hair on our bodies comes out through canals from these glands called follicles. Oil glands make oils that emerge to the skin’s surface through the follicles’ openings, or pores, along with the hairs.

    Sometimes hair, oil, and dead skin cells come together to plug a follicle. The plugged pore provides the right conditions for bacteria that normally live on the skin to thrive. When the body’s immune systemThe system that protects your body from invading viruses, bacteria, & other microscopic threats. attacks the bacteria, pain & swelling can result. That’s how a pimple forms.

    Doctors don’t know why only some people get acne. They do know what raises the risk for acne. Increases in certain hormonesSubstances sent through the bloodstream to signal another part of the body to grow or react a certain way. can cause oil glands to get bigger and make more oil. These hormone levels go up during puberty. Because of this, acne is most common in adolescents and young adults. Hormone changes caused by pregnancy or by starting or stopping birth control pills can also trigger acne.

    But people of all ages can get acne. For most, acne goes away by the time they reach their 30s. However, some people in their 30s, 40s, & 50s still get acne. Although acne is usually not a serious health threat, it can be upsetting, & severe acne can lead to permanent scarring.

    There are things you can do to prevent acne, explains Dr. Edward Cowen, a skin specialist at NIH. He recommends that people with acne avoid skin products that contain petrolatum, a type of oil. Instead, he says, look for creams & lotions labeled “noncomedogenic.” These are less likely to clog pores. A lot of people think certain foods can cause acne breakouts. However, Cowen explains, research has not been able to confirm this in most cases. See the Wise Choices box for other tips.

    While there are plenty of home remedies for acne, Cowen says, it’s better to start with proven over-the-counter treatments for mild acne. These products can contain benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, or sulfur.

    People with severe acne should discuss prescription drug options with a doctor, he adds. These include antibiotics to kill bacteria or drugs called retinoids, which can be given as a topical to apply to the skin or as an oral medication.

    NIH-funded scientists are conducting research to better understand why acne develops and to find better ways to treat the condition.


    Eating Well May Slow Hearing Loss in Women

    By Rich

    Health Capsule

    Many people lose some of their hearing as they get older. Experts say that, of those over the age of 75, about half have hearing loss. Not being able to hear well can make it hard to communicate. That can affect relationships with loved ones, friends, and coworkers.

    A new study shows that women who have a pattern of healthy eating have a lower risk of hearing loss than women who don’t eat well. A healthy eating pattern includes lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It limits sugar, salt, & animal fat.

    The study took place between 1991 & 2013. Women taking part in the study were all professional nurses. Every 4 years, the researchers asked the women to recall what they had eaten over the past year. About 71,000 women responded to the questionnaires.

    The research team also asked the women whether they had noticed a hearing problem. During the study, more than 2,000 women said they had developed moderate or worse hearing loss.

    The team used the reports of food intake to group the women by diet patterns. They compared women with the healthiest pattern to those with the least healthy pattern. The women with the healthiest diet pattern were less likely to have a hearing problem.

    “Interestingly, we observed that those following an overall healthy diet had a lower risk of moderate or worse hearing loss,” says researcher Dr. Sharon G. Curhan at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. “Eating well contributes to overall good health, & it may also be helpful in reducing the risk of hearing loss.”

    Because the study included only women, more research is needed to see whether the results also apply to men.