Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

September 19, 1997

Treasures of the Library of Congress to Air on PBS

The earliest known baseball card, the first copyrighted movie, and the contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the night he was assassinated are among the many items in the world's largest library featured in "Treasures of the Library of Congress," an hour-long television special, produced by WQED Pittsburgh, that airs Sunday, November 16 at 10 p.m. on PBS stations nationwide.

"Most people think of the library as just books, but in reality, it's a comprehensive treasure house of American history," said Executive Producer James C. Rogal. "Our show is based on "American Treasures of the Library of Congress," now on view. It is the first time in its history that the Library has installed a permanent exhibition of its rarest and most significant items. We were honored to be given the opportunity to bring these treasures to a television audience, everything from the first "Superman" comic to Jefferson's handwritten first draft of the Declaration of Independence."

There are many surprises. Curator Abby Smith says, "People don't expect to see old movies, hear radio broadcasts, listen to the first recording of "Stars and Stripes Forever," see Groucho Marx on television, or discover an ad for Wrigley's Double Mint gum whey they visit the Library of Congress."

Other unusual American treasures include a Thomas Jefferson's drawing of a machine to make pasta, the earliest photographic portrait, depression era photos, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech, and maps that guided Lewis and Clark across America.

"Treasures of the Library of Congress" is a production of WQED Pittsburgh, in association with the Library of Congress and developed by New Vision Communication. The production was funded with a grant from the Xerox Foundation. Executive Producer is James C. Rogal; producer is Sandra Bradley; associate producer is Tim Dilworth; and director of photography is Erich Roland.

# # #

PR 97-152
ISSN 0731-3527

Back to top