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The Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building is open to visitors Thursday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. Timed tickets are required for entry. For more information on visiting, please see our Visiting the Library page.


National Book Festival Online: With Great Responsibility: The Spider Man Origin Story in Art and Comic Books
Thursday, September 23, 3:00-4:00 pm ET

Before Spider-Man leaped off the pages of comic books into the movies, Steve Ditko, a cartoonist, and Stan Lee, a scriptwriter, sat down at their desks and invented him. The Library of Congress possesses the original drawings for their collaboration, which appeared in the August 1962 issue of “Amazing Fantasy.” Together we look at the moment the radioactive spider bit Peter Parker, turning him from a lonely teenager into a superhero. We discuss how Steve Ditko changed his art in reaction to Stan Lee’s editorial notations in the margins of the drawing. Specialists present the art in an interactive format, highlighting the artistic creative process, including how Ditko drew the costume for the first time and how it differs from what Spider-Man wears today. We also discuss how Peter comes to learn “with great power there must also come — great responsibility!” Conceived as an interactive event aimed at children and young adults who may be aware only of the Marvel movies, Library staff will highlight and discuss that the story came from a book — a comic book — and the imaginative possibilities of a talented writer and artist working as a team.
Learn more about the Library of Congress experts participating in the National Book Festival, including Sara W. Duke from the Prints and Photographs Division and Megan Halsband from the Serial and Government Publications Division.

Virtual Student Workshops

Virtual workshops are available by request and are led by a Library facilitator. These programs take place online, last approximately 45 minutes, and include interactive elements and pre-and post-program material.
Imagination, Everyone’s Superpower (grades 3-5)

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world and home of the U.S. Copyright Office, holds an unparalleled record of American creativity. The Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building was designed to reflect its commitment to imagination, creativity, and learning. Students will explore imagination and creativity as represented in the Library’s architecture and collections, while developing ideas for creating their own comics. Includes a short pre-program activity and a post-program comic-making activity.

Educational Resources

Pictures Worth Reading: A Teacher's Guide to Comics  External was created by The University of the Arts with a Library of Congress grant awarded under the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. The University of the Arts is a member of the TPS Consortium, a group that offers educational programming, materials, and tools based on the Library's online resources to diverse learners across the country.

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