Press contact: Matt Raymond, Library of Congress (202) 707-0020
Press contact: Heather DiRubba, HISTORY, (212) 210-9760

June 3, 2010

Library of Congress Focus of HISTORY “Modern Marvels” June 10

The Library of Congress – the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge – will be the focus of HISTORY’s "Modern Marvels" program slated to air Thursday, June 10, 2010 at 9 p.m. EDT.

In the hour-long episode, titled "The Real National Treasure," more than 50 staff members of the Library of Congress and the Architect of the Capitol are interviewed about the vast array of activities at the Library – from acquiring and cataloging millions of books, maps, photographs, manuscripts and other items, many of them rare, to making them more accessible to the public through display or digitization and preserving them in specialized, state-of-the-art laboratories.

"We have greatly valued our joint efforts with HISTORY since April 2008 to find innovative, engaging ways to make the unparalleled resources of the Library of Congress more broadly known and accessible," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "It has been a pleasure to work with HISTORY on an episode of ‘Modern Marvels’ that will shed new light on the Library’s varied and critical missions."

"The Library of Congress is America’s library. For more than 200 years, it has been the repository for some of our most significant and novel national treasures, including Thomas Jefferson’s own personal library," said HISTORY President and General Manager Nancy Dubuc. "Our researchers and producers regularly turn to the Library of Congress’ vast collections for information and material, and we are excited to let the broader public know that this remarkable resource is theirs to enjoy."

Viewers will be treated to some fascinating computer-generated images as they explore the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, considered by many the most beautiful building in the United States; see some of the Library’s great treasures, including a collection of Stradivarius and Guarneri violins, manuscripts written by the Founding Fathers, and original music in Mozart’s own hand; rare maps, including one used by Lewis and Clark; and even Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, which served as the basis of the modern Library of Congress after the British burned the U.S. Capitol and its small library during the War of 1812.

Although many Americans do not realize the Library is a public resource – after all, it is called the Library of "Congress" – through "Modern Marvels" they will learn that anyone over the age of 16, from anywhere in the world, can sign up for a card that will allow them to do research at the Library.

Viewers will also learn that the Library of Congress is home to the U.S. Copyright Office, which receives some 12,000 pieces of mail daily; the Congressional Research Service, which provides objective research for members of Congress; and a special facility in Culpeper, Va. that stores and preserves a vast collection of sound recordings and films – the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation.

Moreover, viewers will discover the many ways in which they can access the treasures of the Library of Congress online, through the Library’s main website www.loc.gov and its recently launched, more internationally oriented joint project with UNESCO, the World Digital Library at www.wdl.org.

The Library of Congress and HISTORY agreed in 2008 to create a joint multimedia effort that showcases the Library’s collections on HISTORY’s television outlets and its website, www.history.com (external link). The collaboration also has brought historical content to more than 200,000 teachers across the nation who use the channel’s branded educational materials in their classrooms.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.

HISTORY and HISTORY HD are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original nonfiction series and event-driven specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as "American Pickers," "Ax Men," "Battle 360," "How The Earth Was Made," "Ice Road Truckers," "Pawn Stars" and "The Universe," as well as acclaimed specials including "102 Minutes That Changed America," "1968 with Tom Brokaw," "King," "Life After People," "Nostradamus: 2012," "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed" and "WWII in HD." HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. "Take a Veteran to School Day" is the network's latest initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at www.history.com (external link), is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics.

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PR 10-132
06/03/10
ISSN 0731-3527

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