March 18, 2003 April 10 Program to Launch Library of Congress/W.W. Norton Multimedia Series on Architecture, Design and Engineering

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The Library of Congress and W.W. Norton & Company will announce the inauguration of the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design and Engineering series at a program celebrating the launch of the first book, "Barns," with author John Michael Vlach. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 10, in Madison Hall on the first floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. Tickets are not required.

John Michael Vlach, professor of American Studies at George Washington University, will discuss "Barns" at the program, sponsored jointly by the Library's Center for American Architecture, Design and Engineering; the Center for the Book; the Publishing Office; the American Folklife Center; and the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record of the National Park Service.

"Barns" presents a new perspective on American history through one of America's unique cultural landmarks. Drawn from the vast holdings of the Library of Congress, more than 800 illustrations provide a tour of significant barns across the United States, from New England to the Great Lakes, the South, the Midwest, and the Far West. "Barns" is an invaluable tool for architects, historians, students, and all those who love barns. It traces geographical and chronological continuities of barn type, design, and construction, as well as Dutch, German, French, and Spanish influences. Captions identify each document and building, and images are included on a CD-ROM with a link to the Library's high-resolution files.

Advisors for the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design, and Engineering series are C. Ford Peatross, curator of the Library's Architecture, Design and Engineering Collections; Robert Bruegmann, University of Illinois at Chicago; and David G. De Long, University of Pennsylvania.

The series is a project of the Library's new Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering, established in 2002 through a bequest from the distinguished American architect Paul Rudolph and the contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations. The purpose of the center is to focus attention on, encourage support for, and promote the study of the Library's unmatched architecture, design and engineering collections, thereby increasing the public's awareness and appreciation of the achievements of the architecture, design, and engineering professions and their contributions to quality of life. For further information, consult the center's Web site at


PR 03-053
ISSN 0731-3527