Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

July 26, 2012

Library of Congress Summer Interns Unearth Collection Treasures

Unreleased Recording Session of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee Tops the List

The Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Interns today presented more than 130 items from 32 unique collections housed in more than 20 Library divisions. The display provides the opportunity for fellows to discuss the historic significance of the collection items they have researched, processed and—in some cases—unearthed during their 10-week internship.

Topping their list of finds was an unknown and unreleased recording session of the great blues duo Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, which was found in the Universal Music Group Collection of some 200,000 historic master recordings that the Library acquired last year. Made in 1946 when the blues greats were still unknown, the recording was an audition tape for Decca Records. The duo would become nationally and internationally known in the 1950s and 1960s, during which time they recorded numerous albums, including backup on a 1959 album featuring Andy Griffith.

Also on view were rarely displayed items from the Library’s collections such as:

  • A miniature replica (1.5 x 1.5 x 1 inches) of "Manual (Psalterium) of St. Ruperti," a Medieval manuscript
  • The Venice Haggadah, 1716
  • General John G. Barnard’s "A Report on the Defenses of Washington," including maps drawn during the Civil War, 1871
  • A copyright application for Animate Toy Company’s "Bugville Games," 1916
  • Transcripts from the trial of gangster Al Capone, 1931
  • "Stories About Animals," by Leo Tolstoy, 1932
  • Newport Folk Festival posters and memorabilia from the collection of musician and writer John Cohen, 1959-1964

Now in its eighth year, the Junior Fellows Summer Internship program is made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the James Madison Council, the Library’s private-sector advisory group. This year, a panel of Library curators and specialists selected 38 college students from among more than 600 applicants to participate in the program.

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.

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PR 12-140
07/26/12
ISSN 0731-3527

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