Friday, October 2 and
Saturday, October 3,
Library of Congress
See the schedule of events
Baseball Americana was a unique celebration of our national pastime, held at the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, the Library of Congress. The Library's baseball collections are the largest in the world. This has led to the creation of a beautifully illustrated book, Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress, to be published by HarperCollins for release on September 29, 2009 (available through the Library Sales Shop). In addition, the Library's American Folklife Center has recently acquired a collection of one-of-a-kind oral history interviews with former professional players and managers, organized and conducted by a former commissioner of Major League Baseball, Fay Vincent. The symposium, sponsored by the American Folklife Center and coordinated with the Library’s Publishing Office's release of the new book, celebrated these milestones in the Library’s relationship with baseball.
The symposium examined baseball from a number of perspectives, particularly the viewpoints of people who experience the game at home (via TV, radio and newspapers), in the stands (as spectators, vendors and musicians), and on the field (as players and coaches). Speakers included former players, others who make their living through the game (including a stadium organist and a head groundskeeper), and experts on baseball cuisine, the language of baseball, and baseball memorabilia. All of the symposium's sessions were videotaped, and the recordings will be added to the Library's permanent collections, where they will be preserved and made available to researchers and the public. In addition, Library of Congress curators displayed and discussed items from the Library's collections, including rare and historically significant baseball cards, photographs, and sheet music.