July 27, 2007 Members of Congress Invited To View and Celebrate "American Treasures of the Library of Congress"

Decade-long Exhibition to Close Aug. 18

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Contact: Reservations (Congress only) (202) 707-6577

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 1, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. WHERE: Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. WHO: This private event is open to members of Congress, congressional staff and the press. WHAT: The Library of Congress will host a summer ice cream social to celebrate “American Treasures of the Library of Congress,” a decade-long rotating exhibition of the rarest, most interesting or significant items relating to America’s past, which will close on Aug. 18. Also on display during this evening event will be nearly 200 previously uncataloged treasures unearthed in the Library’s collections by the 2007 Junior Fellows Summer Interns, a program made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the Madison Council. (Note: The interns’ display also can be viewed from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 1 in the Members’ Room. See attached list of sample items). BACKGROUND: “American Treasures of the Library of Congress” opened in May 1997 as the centerpiece of a yearlong celebration marking the official reopening of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building in its 100th anniversary year, following an extensive renovation. Viewed by more than 2.5 million people since its debut, this unprecedented Library exhibition has featured more than 2,700 of the most treasured historical items found in the nation’s library. These include the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night of his assassination, the first motion picture film and the first baseball card. The exhibition, which has been made possible by generous support from the Xerox Corporation, will close to make room for a new interactive experience for Library visitors, which will open in Spring 2008. “American Treasures” is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday through Aug. 18. The online exhibition will remain accessible at www.loc.gov/exhibits. Selected Items in Junior Fellows Summer Interns' Display

  • 1872 handwritten letter from Henry J. Heinz and his business partner L. Clarence Noble, seeking copyright protection for two colorful condiment labels “Strictly Pure Horseradish” and “Celebrated Celery Sauce”
  • 1902 copyright deposit manuscript for a musical set in the 2002 White House, with a woman president and her all-female cabinet, titled “An Extra Session: A Chimerical Satire on the Feasible Possibilities Which Woman May Attain A Hundred Years Hences” by William D. Hall
  • Original 1903 copyright application and two photographs of John Singer Sargent’s official White House portrait of Theodore Roosevelt (pictured unframed on an easel and taken several weeks earlier, upon the portrait’s completion)
  • A 1907 copyright deposit photograph of the American League Pennant-winning Detroit Tigers that features Ty Cobb and two other Hall of Famers
  • Photos by Pierre Gilliard of the “last days” of the Russian Romanov Dynasty. Taken at Tobolsk between September 1917 and April 1918, the photographs show the Czar and his family in captivity prior to their execution.
  • Circa 1925 Soviet period board titled “We Will Conquer…,” designed to raise awareness of public health issues surrounding tuberculosis
  • 1938 copyright-registered original typed lyric page, including an unrecorded verse, for the song “Heart of Mine,” written by Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) and Chick Webb (1919-1929), with lyrics by Edward Heyman
  • 1969 recordings of an unfinished musical adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s “The Exception and the Rule” with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Leonard Bernstein
  • Peruvian pamphlets for children written in Quechua, an indigenous language of Latin America
  • A 2005 interview with Greta Friedman, who claims to be the woman in Alfred Eisenstadt’s famous photo “V-J Day Kiss,” featuring an American sailor kissing a young woman on in Times Square on Aug. 15, 1945


PR 07-147
ISSN 0731-3527