The Library of Congress recently added several new collections to its award-winning Web site at www.loc.gov. These include a collection of African American Veterans' stories, World War II maps, Islamic manuscripts from Mali and an archives documenting the history of Western music.
African Americans at War: Fighting Two Battles
A selection of 23 fully digitized collections of materials submitted by African-American war veterans is accessible on the Veterans History Project Web site at www.loc.gov/vets/.
"African Americans at War" honors the service of black veterans by sharing their stories with the public. One section of the presentation titled "African American Pioneers" features 11 individuals who had to fight two wars, one with America's enemies and the other against prejudice. One of these pioneers was Pearle W. Mack Jr., who tried to enlist in a segregated U.S. Army on Dec. 8, 1941. Mack went on to a lifetime career in the armed forces. In his interview, Mack talks about the changes in the attitudes toward race that occurred during his 30-year career.
Another section, "The Next Generation," features veterans such as Willie Boyd, who served two tours of duty in Vietnam as the only black man in his platoon. During his service, Boyd was shot down three times. In the interview, Boyd recalls, "Once you get with a unit and you start working as a team, color never comes up." Also featured in "The Next Generation" is the Deputy Librarian of Congress Donald L. Scott. After completing a college ROTC program in 1960, Scott rose steadily in the ranks to become a brigadier general. In his interview, Scott talks about "the shadow of race."
This is the 10th set of individual stories—comprising interviews, letters, photographs and written memoirs—to be featured on the site. Past themes have included D-Day, prisoners of war, military medicine and war's end. Companion sites to the project's two books, "Forever a Soldier" and "Voices of War," can also be viewed on the "Experiencing War" site.
World War II Military Situation Maps
New in American Memory, "World War II Military Situation Maps" (http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/maps/wwii/) documents troop positions from June 6, 1944, to July 26, 1945. Starting with the D-Day Invasion, the maps give daily details on the military campaigns in Western Europe, showing the progress of the Allied Forces as they push toward Germany. Some of the sheets are accompanied by a declassified "G-3 Report" giving detailed information on troop positions for the period March 3 through July 26, 1945. These maps and reports were used by the commanders of the United States forces in their evaluation of the campaigns and for planning future strategies.
The collection consists of 416 printed maps and 115 reports, the originals of which reside in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division. It provides interesting insights into U.S. Army operations in northwestern Europe during World War II. Each map is a cartographic snapshot that preserves the day-by-day disposition of Allied and Axis forces as understood by the operations staff (G-3) of the First United States Army Group (FUSAG) and, later, the 12th Army Group.
Researchers browsing through the maps can easily follow the Western Allies' progress in Europe through the movements of the unit symbols and the frontline. Even the casual browser's eye can identify significant battles by the concentrations of unit symbols on the maps.
However, the situation maps have greater significance beyond their use as an easily interpreted display of the Western Front operations during World War II. In addition to providing the general scope of the campaign, the situation maps specifically provide excellent primary source information that reflects the incomplete and inaccurate information available to the operational commander, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, and his planning staff during the campaign. Users can zoom in on these digitized maps and view details not easily seen with the naked eye.
Islamic Manuscripts From Mali
This collection of 22 Islamic manuscripts in the Library's Global Gateway section (http://international.loc.gov/intldl/malihtml/) provides important insights into the life and culture of West Africans during the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era. The Library of Congress, through a collaborative effort with the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library of Timbuktu, Mali, is making available online these rare and important documents. The manuscripts are the work of a number of authors and cover a variety of topics, including astrology, commerce, Islamic law, health care, mysticism, slavery and agriculture. All the manuscripts are written in various forms of the Arabic script.
The manuscripts accessible on this Web site are primary sources for the study of the traditional Islamic states and culture of West Africa. These documents have been previously unavailable to scholars outside of Mali and have not been used in any research projects concerning the area. Their use as research resources will provide a means to a much fuller and more accurate understanding of life in Mali and West Africa during the past 500 years.
Alongside the manuscript collection are selections of Timbuktu maps and photographs by Phillip Harrington that were taken for Look magazine. A Library of Congress exhibition featuring these manuscripts is also available online at www.loc.gov/exhibits/mali/.
Digital images of the manuscripts were donated by Abdel Kader Haidara, owner and director of the Mamma Haidara Commemorative Library. The Library of Congress will include additional manuscripts in the future as new digital images are received.
Moldenhauer Archives: A History of Western Music
The Moldenhauer Archives, a selection of the richest composite gift of musical documents ever received by the Library of Congress, contains approximately 3,500 items documenting the history of Western music from the medieval period through the modern era.
As a memorial to his wife of nearly 40 years, Hans Moldenhauer (1906-1987) established a directive and provided funds for the Library of Congress to publish "The Rosaleen Moldenhauer Memorial: Music History from Primary Sources: A Guide to the Moldenhauer Archives."
This online presentation in American Memory (http:/memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/moldenhauer/) is drawn from that 2000 publication. It features more than 130 items (many complete works) from the Moldenhauer Archives. Also available are a series of essays by musicologists discussing individual items from the Moldenhauer Archives and a finding aid based on the publication's comprehensive inventory of the archives held worldwide by the Library and other institutions.
Born in Mainz, Germany, in 1906, Hans Moldenhauer emigrated to the United States in 1938 to elude the rising tide of Nazi oppression. He eventually settled in Spokane, Wash., where he founded that city's Conservatory of Music in 1942. An accomplished pianist, teacher, scholar and mountain climber, he began amassing his archives of primary source material shortly after World War II.
Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa in about 1950, Moldenhauer's progression into blindness took more than 20 years. As his eyesight deteriorated, he increasingly relied upon the assistance of his wife, Rosaleen, a former student and a musicologist in her own right, in assembling his collection.
Moldenhauer's holdings span diverse genres, from medieval chant to experimental late-20th century compositions. Represented are materials from the most important figures in Western music, including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Mozart, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Wagner and Webern. The archives are also rich in materials from Moldenhauer's contemporaries, who were emerging while the archives were formed. Boulez, Cage, Dallapiccola, de la Vega, Penderecki, Stockhausen, Lutosawski and Rothberg are among the "moderns" whose compositions are represented in the collection. In addition to material associated with the great composers, there are diverse items from famous instrumentalists, singers, conductors, artists and writers.
Prior to his death, Moldenhauer sent parts of his archives to the Library of Congress and to other institutions in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United States. In 1987, at his bequest, the balance of his archives came to the Music Division of the Library of Congress, where they remain one of the greatest collections of primary source music materials ever assembled.