Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Themed Resources  > Literature and Poetry > Exhibitions
Walt Whitman holding a butterfly on his finger

[Detail] Walt Whitman holding a butterfly on his finger

Multimedia resources from the Library of Congress that support instruction about literature and poetry. These resources include expert presentations, exhibitions, bibliographies, Webcasts, and other online materials.

American Life in Poetry (Presentation) This free weekly column for newspapers and online publications features a poem by a contemporary American poet and a brief introduction to the poem by Poet Laureate Ted Kooser.

American Treasures: Shakespeare in America (Exhibition) View Shakespeare related treasures in this online exhibition.

Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words (Exhibition) Learn about Benjamin Franklin's public, professional, and scientific accomplishments through important documents, letters, books, broadsides, and cartoons. The Printer and Writer section highlights Franklins literary talents.

Center for the Book (Center for the Book) The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, libraries, and literacy.

A Century of Creativity: The MacDowell Colony 1907-2007 (Exhibition) Learn about the history of this creative sanctuary to artists, writers and composers. Thornton Wilder and James Baldwin were among the many writers who spent time at the MacDowell Colony.

Favorite Poem Project (Poetry and Literature) Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, founded this project promoting poetry's role in Americans' lives.

Featured Digital Materials from the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (Rare Books) Explore the pages of several of William Blake's works as well as the 1524 Book of Hours and Mercator's 1595 atlas.

Finding the Heart in History: Making Connections Through Poetry (Online Activity) In this activity, students analyze primary source documents from the Library of Congress, then share their understanding through the illustrated poetry they create.

A Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials (Library of Congress Bibliography) This online guide presents the Library's resources as well as links to external Web sites on the Harlem Renaissance

Guide to Poetry and Literature Webcasts (Library of Congress Bibliography) Use this guide as a resource for locating streaming video of poets, fiction writers, and critics as they read and discuss their own and each other's work.

Hamlet - "To be or not to be, that is the question" (Prints and Photographs) View an 1870 photograph of Edwin Booth in costume as Hamlet. Search the catalog using the term - Shakespeare - for additional images. Note: Some images may not enlarge outside the Library of Congress.

The Harlem Renaissance and the Flowering of American Creativity (Presentation) Learn about the Harlem Renaissance in this section of the African American Odyssey exhibition.

Harold Bloom: Shakespeare and Genius (Webcast) In this presentation, based on three of his published books, literary critic Bloom discusses Shakespeare and Genius.


A Heavenly Craft: The Woodcut in Early Printed Books (Exhibition) Explore a sampling of woodcut-illustrated books from the Lessing J. R. Rosenwald Collection.

Illuminating the Word: the St. John's Bible (Exhibition) This exhibition is devoted to a single work of art, an illuminated, handwritten Bible commissioned by Saint John's University and Abbey in Minnesota.

An Invitation to the Goode Peoples of our City to a Mid-Summer Celebration (Library of Congress Live) Use this bibliography and teaching guide to learn more about celebrations, customs and manners during the time of Shakespeare.

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Common Language, Separate Voices (Exhibition) Compare British and American literature across four centuries. Scroll down this page to read several Shakespeare related entries.

Langston Hughes and His Poetry (Webcast) View a webcast of David Kresh, Library of Congress Reference Specialist in Poetry, Humanities and Social Sciences, discussing Langston Hughes and his poetry.

Language of the Land: Journeys Into Literary America (Exhibition) This exhibition offers an excursion into American literature through literary maps, photographs and quotations from works by American authors.

Letters About Literature (Center for the Book) This national reading-writing contest invites students to write a personal letter to an author explaining how that author's work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.

The Lewis Carroll Scrapbook Collection (International)This original scrapbook contains items collected from 1855-1872 by children's author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll.

Library of Congress Poetry Resources (Library of Congress Bibliography) This site is a comprehensive guide to locating poetry resources available on the Library of Congress's web site.

Library of Congress Presents: Music, Theater, and Dance (Performing Arts) This special presentation on Walt Whitman's poem includes a reading by Billy Collins, background information and sources for additional information.


Life Lines: The Literature of Women (Webcast) View the March, 2001 International Women’s Day symposium cybercast in which participants read from their works about the discrimination faced by women in various parts of the world.

A Literary Evening with John Prine and Ted Kooser (Webcast) Listen to the discussion between songwriter and poet as they compared and contrasted the emotional appeal of the lyrics of popular songs with the appeal of contemporary poetry.

Literature of the Spanish-American War (International) This chapter from the online presentation - The World of 1898: The Spanish American War - covers some of the prominent authors from countries involved in the war. Stephen Crane, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain are featured American authors. Entries include information on how their lives and works related to the war, lists of their major works, and relevant excerpts from their writings.

Lyrical Legacy (Presentation) Lyrical Legacy helps teachers explore eighteen American songs and poems from the digital collections of the Library of Congress.

Making a Statement through Song and Poetry (Professional Development) These online workshop materials will help educators use Library of Congress primary-source materials to explore the legacy of American song and poetry in their classrooms.

National Book Festival Webcasts (Webcast) View live author webcasts videocast from the 2006 National Book Festival. Categories include Children, Teens and Children, Fiction and Fantasy, Mysteries and Thrillers, History and Biography, Home and Family, and Poetry. Click on each of the past years and select "authors" for cybercasts from these events.

Native American Women Writers Discuss New Book, Sister Nations (Webcast) View the March, 2003 cybercast of editors and writers discussing this anthology of fiction, prose and poetry celebrating Native American women.

Other Digitized Materials From the Rare Book and Special Collections Division (Rare Books) Explore digitized materials including early books, children's literature, miniature books, Audubon prints, magic posters and early travel accounts.

Poet and the Poem (Poetry and Literature) Listen to a selection of audio interviews with several poets who have recorded their work at the Library of Congress.


Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry (Poetry and Literature) Learn about current and past Poet Laureate Consultants to the Library of Congress.

Poet Vision Video Series (Webcast) View cybercasts of Lucille Clifton, Rita Dove, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Glück, Sam Hamill, Michael Harper, Stanley Kunitz, and Denise Levertov reading and talking about their work.

Poetry and Literature Center (Poetry and Literature) Explore the programs offered by the Poetry and Literature Center of the Library of Congress.

Poetry Webcasts (Webcast) View a selection of poetry related cybercast presentations, some of which are sponsored by the Poetry and Literature Center.

Presidents as Poets (Library of Congress Bibliography) Explore this guide to the poetic endeavors of U.S. presidents.

Primary Source Investigation (Document) Use this primary source investigation strategy as a way for students to examine documents and think critically about their meaning. Themes include Civil War, reform movements, Harlem Renaissance and presidential campaigns. (Presentation) Celebrate reading with the Library of Congress.

Revising Himself: Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass (Exhibition) Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, presents Whitman's vision of America over the last half of the nineteenth century. The exhibition traces the occupations and preparations that led Whitman to evolve as a poet.

Sampler of Collection Themes: Poetry (Presentation) Link to a sampling of poetry related books in the Nineteenth Century in Print: Books collection.

Shakespeare in Quarto (Internet Resources) Link to the full text of the British Library’s 93 copies of the 21 plays by Shakespeare printed in quarto.

Song of America Tour (LOC Event) Celebrate the history of creativity in America with the LOC and Thomas Hampson on this 11 city-tour featuring concerts, exhibitions, and teacher institutes.

South Asian Literary Recordings Project (International) This project was launched in April 2000 to record the voices of South Asian authors for the Library of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature.

Spaelimenenir: Pan Scandinavian Music and Storytelling (Library of Congress Live) Use this guide to learn more about Scandinavian music, story, and dance.

Thomas Jefferson's Library (Exhibition) This exhibition reveals how books were vital to Thomas Jefferson’s education and well–being and how his personal library provided Jefferson with a broad knowledge of the contemporary and ancient worlds. Exhibition themes include Memory, Reason and Imagination and feature opportunities to explore pages from a selection of books in each category.

Webcasts From the Library (Webcast) These Library of Congress webcasts were sponsored by the Center for the Book and feature authors, journalists, historians and biographers.

The Wizard of Oz – An American Fairy Tale (Exhibition) Learn the history of L. Frank Baum’s now famous story, originally published in 1909.

Zora Neale Hurston Chronology (Presentation) This chronology accompanies the Zora Neale Hurston Plays collection which features ten recently discovered unpublished plays.

Zora! A Learning Guide for Teachers (Library of Congress Live) Use this guide to learn more about Zora Neale Hurston and her role in preserving African American culture.