March 1, 2002 Library to Host Local History Program for Washington, D.C., Elementary School Students on March 13

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Diane Nester Kresh (202) 707-6072

"Celtic Roots: Stories, Songs and Traditions from Across the Sea," a program for local schoolchildren that highlights primary source materials from the Library's collections, will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13, in the Coolidge Auditorium, first floor, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E.

Sponsored by the Director for Public Service Collections in Library Services and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the program gives participating students the opportunity to learn firsthand about the Irish immigrants who arrived in America in the 1880s, and brought their stories and traditions with them to contribute to the multitextured fabric of America. "Celtic Roots" will be an interactive program featuring live music, dance, storytelling, and a Mummer's play and will feature letters and diaries, photographs, and maps from the Library's collections. In presenting this program, the Library of Congress is continuing its partnership with the Washington Revels, a performance group. The group is dedicated, through performance, community involvement and education, to promoting celebrations that draw people together.

The students will be from J.O. Wilson, Watkins, Janney and Shepherd elementary schools, Capitol Hill Day School, Stuart-Hobson Middle School and World Public Charter School. A question-and- answer period following the 40-minute program will afford students and teachers an additional opportunity to get to know the collections of the Library of Congress.

"Celtic Roots: Stories, Songs and Traditions from Across the Sea" continues a series of annual Library of Congress programs that support local school curricula. Each program, through live presentations, makes the Library's collections relevant and meaningful to students. For more information, visit the Library's Web site at "Celtic Roots" also supports the Library's national reading promotion theme for 2001-2002, Telling America's Stories, which focuses on how stories connect people to the world of books and reading.

The Director for Public Service Collections is responsible for Library of Congress activities that serve the public and acquire, catalog, and preserve manuscripts, motion pictures, music and recorded sound, maps, newspapers, bound periodicals, and folklife materials, as well as the18 million books in the Library's general classified collections.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its programs and publications and the activities of its affiliates in 44 states and the District of Columbia, visit its Web site at


PR 02-022
ISSN 0731-3527