Now in its third year, the Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program attracted 47 talented college students from around the country and as far away as London to work with the Library's special copyright and gift collections. Through the 10-week program, the Library furthered its mission to provide access to a universal record of human knowledge and creativity as exemplified by its collections, while supporting current and future generations of students and scholars.
The interns delved into collections housed in 14 divisions in three Library buildings in Washington, D.C., and at the new Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va. There, they explored, documented and provided increased access to previously uncataloged primary materials, including original manuscripts, maps, prints, photographs, films, sheet music, sound recordings, rare books and comic books.
Works of American creative achievement are richly represented in the Library's vast treasure trove of materials deposited for copyright, a core focus of the Junior Fellows program. This year the program was expanded to include American gift collections and international materials in Library Area Studies divisions, including the Asian, European and Hispanic divisions. Other participants included the U.S. Copyright Office; Geography and Map; Manuscript; Motion Picture, Broadcasting & Recorded Sound; Music; Prints and Photographs; Rare Book and Special Collections; Serial and Government Publications; Social Sciences Cataloging (Law Team); Special Materials Cataloging divisions; and the Digital Conversion Team for the Veterans History Project.
On Aug. 1, the interns presented their top 200 items at a special display held in the Members of Congress Room in the Thomas Jefferson Building.
"This is their final exam," quipped Karen Lloyd, the Library's strategic planning officer and project manager for the Junior Fellows program.
Lloyd welcomed Librarian James H. Billlington for his annual review of the interns' finds. Members of Congress were also invited to view the interns' display that evening, while attending a special viewing of "American Treasures of the Library of Congress, scheduled to close on Aug. 18 after a decade on exhibition.
The Prints and Photographs Division took center stage with a pair of photographs depicting the last days of Russian Emperor Nicholas II and members of the Romanoff family prior to their murder by the Bolsheviks in July 1918. Accompanying the photos taken by family friend and French tutor M. Pierre Gilliard was a transcript of a synopsis by Gilliard that reveals in detail the hardships suffered by the imperial family before their tragic end in Siberia.
"Finding these was a chance discovery," said Ian Meyers, a junior at the Washington University in St. Louis majoring in European studies and photography, who found the uncataloged photographs in a box marked "Miscellaneous/Foreign."
Billington, a Russian scholar, was presented with a framed facsimile of the two discovered photographs and the transcript. "This is an example of the power of discovering unexpected things in the Library's collections," he said.
Celeste Mitchell, a recent Baylor University graduate assigned to the Veterans History Project (VHP), came across an interesting collection of photos and articles surrounding the famous "V-J Day Kiss" photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on Aug. 15, 1945. George Mendonsa, one of many men claiming to be the kissing sailor in the photograph, donated to the VHP a collection of materials relating to the photo of the famous smooch, including a signed copy of the print, a recreation of the shot taken years later and a 1980s LIFE magazine article titled "Who is the Kissing Sailor?" A related item found by the interns preparing VHP material for digitization was a 2005 oral history interview with Greta Friedman, claiming to be the nurse who received the kiss.
Music and musical theater were prominent among this year's finds. Music lovers Abigail Abisinito, a junior at the College of William and Mary, and Laura Rhoades, a sophomore at Virginia Tech, were pleasantly surprised when they stumbled upon a reel-to-reel recording of Judy Garland on the shelves at the new Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., where the bulk of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Record Sound Division's collection are now housed. The 7-inch acetate reel-to-reel tape includes many recordings made in 1968, the year before Garland died. It also includes Garland's first radio broadcast, in 1935 at the age of 12, singing "Broadway Rhythm" on NBC's "The Shell Chateau Hour," with an introduction by actor Wallace Beery.
A large collection of African-American music was found in the Special Materials Cataloging Division by interns Ashwin Jagannathan and Jessica Turner. Their most prized discovery was selected sheet music from Will Marion Cook and Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Clorindy: Or the Origin of the Cakewalk." Published at the turn of the 20th century, the musical helped usher in the first golden age of Black Broadway.
Thanks to the work of interns Katelynn Chambers, Sarah McIntire and Lauren Schott, the Geography and Map Division soon will be able to make available online over 1,000 maps. The team reviewed and edited an online database detailing the geographic coverage included in more than 700,000 map sheets in the Sanborn Map Collection. Schott, a sophomore at Sarah Lawrence College, worked on scanning, processing and indexing the 180-sheet Carte De France, the first large scale scientific mapping of France, produced by the Cassini family between 1687 and 1793. Using special software, it will be possible to zoom into specific sections of the map and view it in extreme detail.
As in past years, presidential material was unearthed by the interns. While reviewing the contents of 63 boxes of historic copyright registration applications spanning the year 1898 through 1909, interns Elizabeth Delmage and Grant Hamming found an original 1903 copyright application and two photographs of John Singer Sargent's official White House portrait of Theodore Roosevelt.
Alena Palevitz and Allison Curran, college English majors interning in the Manuscript Division, came across a 1902 copyright deposit manuscript for a musical titled "An Extra Session: A Chimerical Satire on the Feasible Possibilities Which Woman May Attain A Hundred Years Hence." Written by William D. Hall, the musical is set in the White House in the year 2002, with a woman president and her all-female cabinet. With a woman running for president in 2008, this 100-year-old item was among the most relevant items in the display.
The Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program is a joint project of the U.S. Copyright Office, Library Services, Office of Workforce Diversity, Human Resources Services and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. The program is made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the Madison.
Raquel Maya, an intern in the Library's Public Affairs Office, contributed to this story.