Even in the midst of the initial chaos of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the Library of Congress began collecting materials documenting the attacks. Since that time, the Library has been amassing material through its public service divisions and overseas offices. On September 7, an exhibition and Web site of selections from this material will open, titled "Witness and Response: Sept. 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress." The Web site will be found at www.loc.gov/exhibits/911/.
A series of special free public programs called "Summon the Heroes" will accompany the exhibition. It will include concerts by performers such as Tom Paxton and Suzanne Vega, as well as discussions by cultural historians, photographers, artists and illustrators about the impact of September 11 on their lives and work.
The exhibition will expose visitors to powerful eyewitness accounts and raw public reaction as documented by the Library's collections, while at the same time commemorating the first anniversary of the attacks. The exhibition will be on display in the Great Hall of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building, First and Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C., Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 2.
Among the many dramatic and informative materials presented in the exhibition are: audio interviews conducted with average citizens around the country by representatives of the Library's American Folklife Center, edited in cooperation with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, which can be heard in the ground floor Orientation Theater; examples of newspaper coverage from across the United States and the globe, collected by the Serial and Government Periodicals Division; photos documenting the devastation in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., and other artistic responses to the tragedy, collected by the Prints and Photographs Division; posters, pamphlets and newspapers gathered by the Library's overseas field offices in Jakarta, New Delhi, Cairo and Islamabad, which document the other side of the "War on Terrorism"; and aerial photography and mapping that document Ground Zero and the destruction at the Pentagon, acquired by the Geography and Map Division.
Free Public Programs in the "Summon the Heroes" Series
(Tickets required where noted)
Saturday, September 7
The exhibition "Witness and Response: September 11 Acquisitions at the Library of Congress" opens in the North Gallery of the Jefferson Building's Great Hall.
Tuesday, September 10
Tom Paxton, folk singer-songwriter and recipient of the ASCAP Foundation 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award in Folk Music, author of such classics as "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound," "Under American Skies," "Peace will come, and let it begin with me," presents a solo outdoor concert on the Neptune Plaza of the Jefferson Building, at noon. The performance will include "The Bravest," Paxton's tribute to the heroes of the New York police and fire departments who died on September 11, 2001.
Thursday, September 12
Loras John Schissel, Library music specialist, conducts the "Virginia Grand Military Band" in a program of American band music, including Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Summon the Heroes" by John Williams. Geoffrey Simon directs the Library of Congress Chorale in the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and Stravinsky's choral arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner." The free concert will take place in the Jefferson Building's Coolidge Auditorium, at noon.
Friday, September 13
New York songwriter Suzanne Vega and fellow members of the Greenwich Village Songwriter's Exchange feature their songs from the Vigil Project, a collection honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in a performance in the Coolidge Auditorium, at 8 p.m. Included is Vega's own "It Hit Home"—a song expressing "feelings, thoughts and observations from someone trying to make sense out of something seemingly senseless." The performance is free, but tickets are required; they are available through TicketMaster by calling (301) 808-6900; (410) 752-1200; or (800) 551-7328.
Wednesday, September 18
Jeremy Adamson, chief of the Prints and Photographs Division, will moderate a panel discussion by the reporters who assembled the New York Times' Pulitzer-Prize winning series "Portraits in Grief" from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Library's Madison Building. Panel members will include: Jonathan Landman, Metro editor; Christine Kay, assistant Metro editor; Janny Scott, Metro reporter; Anthony DePalma, reporter, Financial desk; and Jan Hoffman, Metro reporter.
Tuesday, September 24
Lawrence Reger, president, Heritage Preservation, and Jane Long, director of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, will co-chair a panel discussion on "The Impact of September 11 on Culture Heritage," from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building.
Wednesday, October 2
A panel discussion on "September 11th Comic Book Artists and Illustrators" will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building, with the following participants: Will Eisner, legendary creator in the fields of comics and graphic novels; Paul Levitz, president and publisher of DC Comics in New York, editor and contributor to the two-volume anthology of comic book art in response to September 11; Jeff Mason, publisher of Alternative Comics and editor of "9-11 Emergency Relief," an anthology of comic book art relating to the events; Peter Kuper, noted comic artist, graphic novel creator and co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated; and Trina Robbins, leading artist, writer, and authority on the history of women comic artists.
Wednesday, October 16
Photographer Carol Highsmith will discuss her photographs of the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. The program will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m., in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building.
Thursday, October 17
The Liz Lerman Dance Exchange performs "Uneasy Dances" in commemoration of the events of September 11 in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Jefferson Building, at 8 p.m. The dance program is free, but tickets are required; they are available through TicketMaster by calling (301) 808-6900; (410) 752-1200; or (800) 551-7328.
Tuesday, October 22
Photographer Joel Meyerowitz will discuss his photographs of the World Trade Center site, taken daily from September 11 to May of this year, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor of the Madison Building, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Friday, October 25
The Library's Office of Scholarly Programs and the African Middle Eastern Division cosponsor a workshop on "Teaching the Other: Muslims, Non-Muslims and the Stories They Teach," focusing on how different societies instruct their children about other cultures, in LJ 113 and 119 of the Jefferson Building, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.