January 10, 2005 Author, Historian and Archaeologist Patrick O'Neill To Speak

Press Contact: Bibi Marti (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Emily C. Howie (202) 707-5771; Diane Schug-O'Neill (202) 707-2886

Author Patrick L. O'Neill, historian and archaeologist, will discuss his book, "Images of America: Mount Vernon," at the Library of Congress at noon on Thursday, Feb. 10, in the third floor Pickford Theater in the Library's James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. A book signing will follow the lecture. This event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

In his lecture, "From Mount Vernon, Virginia to Middleford, Delaware: Archaeology, History and the Records of the Library of Congress," O'Neill will discuss how he researched diverse collections at the Library of Congress for his book and his challenges and successes locating and analyzing historic sites across the entire United States. Much of O'Neill's project research was conducted in the Humanities and Social Sciences and Geography and Map divisions of the Library of Congress.

Patrick O'Neill, a 22-year veteran of archaeology, has a B.S. in Anthropology and an M.A. in history. He currently conducts research in the Mount Vernon, Va. and Washington regions and has led investigations in more than 30 states. O'Neill has compiled historical reports on a wide variety of topics: army hospital latrines at Fort Riley, Kan.; fur trading posts at Fort Union, N.D.; brick clamps in Smyna, Del.; George Washington's Union Farm near Mount Vernon; and Arlington House, located on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

"Images of America: Mount Vernon" takes a visual excursion through the history of the home and neighborhood of George Washington. Washington's ancestors came to Northern Virginia more than 320 years ago; by 1786, Washington had acquired an 8,000-plus-acre tract of land surrounding Mount Vernon. He divided this acreage into five farms, which he considered his pride and joy. The region continued to thrive from the late 17th century until Washington's death in 1799. The estate prospered following the sale of the home and surrounding properties, the establishment of a Quaker community in the 1840s, the Civil War, the arrival of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1915, and more than 200 years of tourism. O'Neill's book, containing more than 200 images of Mount Vernon and the surrounding vicinity, gives readers the opportunity to experience the area's rich history.

This event is sponsored by the Humanities & Social Sciences and Geography and Map divisions. The Humanities and Social Sciences Division provides reference service and collection development in the Main, Local History and Genealogy and Microform reading rooms at the Library of Congress. It regularly sponsors programs in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

The Geography and Map Division provides cartographic and geographic information on all parts of the world to Congress, federal agencies, state and local governments, the scholarly community and the general public. The division holds the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world.


PR 05-002
ISSN 0731-3527