November 7, 2018 Winter Is Coming: Library Events Nov. 2018–Jan. 2019

Symposiums & Celebrations Highlight the Library’s Event Calendar

Press Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-2905 | Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Visitor Services (202) 707-8000
Website: Library of Congress Calendar of Events
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or

This holiday season, the Library of Congress will bring you a host of events on a variety of topics. Concerts, lectures, film screenings, symposiums and special events all fill the newly-designed public events calendar. Headlining the fall/winter line-up are two events to spread awareness of digital tools that can be used analyze and simplify the information and data available here at the Library.

On Nov. 14, the Library will celebrate geographic information systems (GIS) technology with an all-day series of talks about the use of GIS in the federal government and academia. “GIS in K-12 Education: from Data to STEM” will be held 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. in the Mumford Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. geographic information system is a computer system for storing, analyzing, manipulating and displaying digital data that is linked to positions on the Earth’s surface. The Library of Congress has the largest and most comprehensive collection of maps and atlases in the world, some 5.4 million cartographic items that date from the 14th century to the present. GIS technology can be used to interact with these cartographic items.

Nov. 19 will mark the 155th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. To commemorate U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and his historic speech, the Library is hosting Lincoln Day, a one-day opportunity for visitors to view the original manuscript. To coincide with the Library’s new crowdsourcing program,, visitors will also participate in a hands-on transcription experience using original written manuscripts that are part of the Library’s Lincoln’s collection. Activities will be held 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building located at 10 First Street, S.E., Washington, D.C.

Beginning Dec. 7, visitors to the Library’s Great Hall can enjoy a spectacular display of holiday cheer. During the winter season, all Library buildings will be closed on the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.

Please note that events are subject to change. In the event of inclement weather or other issues, the Library of Congress follows the federal government operating status. All events are free and open to the public. Tickets are not required unless noted under the event.

November 2018

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 4 p.m.
Reading: Poet Silvia Guerra will read excerpts of her work and translators Jesse Lee Kercheval, Jeannine Pitas, Anna Deeny and Seth Michelson will share new translations of Circe Maia, Marosa di Giorgio, Amanda Berenguer, and Melisa Mechado. Contact: (202) 707-5394.

Thursday, November 8, 11:30 a.m.
Lecture: “GRACE-FO and ICESat-2: NASA's Leadership in Monitoring the Polar Regions from Space.” NASA's Thorsten Markus will explain why the polar regions are so important for the global climate system and what satellites like GRACE-FO and ICESat-2 will contribute to our understanding of them. Contact: (202) 707-1192.

Thursday, November 8, noon
Discussion: “Baseball in Black and White: Newspaper Sportswriters on Reporting the National Pastime.” Baseball sportswriters Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun, and Greg Swatek of the Frederick News-Post discuss their work covering baseball at the local, regional, and national levels. Contact: (202) 707-0245.

Saturday, November 10, 11 a.m.
Symposium: “The Road Back: Veterans and Literary Writing.” In honor of Veterans Day, the Library's Poetry and Literature Center, Veterans History Project, and Exhibits Office present a symposium on the veterans’ “road back,” focusing on the use of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as a means of coping with service experience. The symposium will include a panel discussion about veterans and literary writing and a reading of poetry and literature. Contact: (202) 707-0245.

Wednesday, November 14, 8:30 a.m.—3 p.m.
GIS Day, see information above.

Wednesday, November 14, noon
Gallery Talk: “The Feel of Jade: The Everyday Lives of the Maya.” The richest source of Pre-Columbian historical information comes from the ancient Maya, who developed the most sophisticated writing system in the Americas. The Maya often embellished their texts with illustrations, recording or carving them on objects of stone, ceramic, wood, and other surfaces. John Hessler, curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection, will discuss select artifacts in the collection that illuminate the daily lives of the Maya. Contact (202) 707-0245.

Wednesday, November 14, 1:30 p.m.
Lecture: “Shores Beyond Shores.” Holocaust Survivor Irene Butter will speak about her experiences during WWII. Contact: (202) 707-5426.

Thursday, November 15, 4 p.m.
Lecture: “One Buddha, Fifteen Buddhas, One Thousand Buddhas.” Richard Salomon (University of Washington) will discuss the Library's unique Buddhist birch-bark manuscript, which describes the parallel lives of fifteen Buddhas of the past, present and future eons. This lecture is free and open to the public. Contact: (202) 707-3417.

Thursday, November 15, 6:30 p.m.
Film: “Howard” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building. This new biopic gives fresh insight into the life and work of Howard Ashman, the lyricist for beloved musicals and films including "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Little Shop of Horrors." Tickets are required. Visit for tickets. Contact: (202) 707-5502.

Saturday, November 17, 11 a.m.
#DECLASSIFIED: “Women Composers Hiding in Plain Sight” in the Whittall Pavilion of the Jefferson Building. Dig deeper into early 20th-century letters, music manuscripts, sheet music, concert programs, and music magazines to learn about unique women in America’s music history. Tickets are required. Visit for tickets. Contact: (202) 707-5502.

Tuesday, November 19, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Lincoln Day, see information above.

Wednesday, November 20, 7 p.m.
American Musical Society Lecture: "From World War to Cold War: Music in America's Radio Propaganda in Korea" in the Montpelier Room of the James Madison Building. Hye-jung Park, PhD candidate, Ohio State University, considers the use of American music in wartime radio propaganda on the Korean peninsula. The talk will focus on Korean perceptions of American and Korean music vis-à-vis the cultural hierarchies in Eastern Asia during the period of change during and following WWII. Much of the research for this lecture is based on the recorded sound collection from the US Office of War Information (OWI, 1942-45) at the Library of Congress. Tickets are required. Visit for tickets. Contact (202) 707-5503.

Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m.
Film: National Film Registry: “The Lost Weekend” (Paramount, 1945) in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building. An uncompromising look at the devastating effects of alcoholism, this landmark social-problem film seamlessly combines documentary realism with expressionistic flourishes to immerse viewers in the harrowing experiences of an aspiring New York writer willing to do almost anything for a drink. Contact (202) 707-5503.

Thursday, November 29, 6:30 p.m.
Film: “Artur Schnabel: No Place of Exile” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building. The music and legacy of pianist/composer Artur Schnabel are celebrated in a film documenting the preparation of an all-Schnabel concert featuring pianist Markus Pawlik, baritone Dietrich Henschel and the Szymanowski String Quartet. Tickets are required. Contact (202) 707-5503.

Friday, November 30, noon
Curator’s Tour: “Art & Advocacy: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times.” Exhibition curators and Prints and Photographs specialists Katherine Blood and Martha Kennedy will provide an overview of the new exhibition Art & Advocacy: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times. Contact (202) 707-0245.

December 2018

Wednesday, December 5, noon
Gallery Talk: “Deciphering Nature: The Everyday Lives of the Nahua.” John Hessler, curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection, will discuss select artifacts in the collection that illuminate the daily lives of the Nahua, also known as the Aztecs, before European contact. Contact (202) 707-0245.

Thursday, December 6, 11:30 a.m.
Lecture: “The Science of Space: Heliophysics and the Parker Solar Probe.” NASA's Alex Young will take a journey through the solar system, discussing how the Sun interacts at the largest and smallest scales, from complicated motions at the particle level to giant eruptions thousands of times bigger than the Earth. Contact (202) 707-1192.

Thursday, December 6, 7 p.m.
Film: “20 Feet from Stardom” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building. Morgan Neville’s Oscar-winning documentary on the art of the backup singer chronicles the brilliant contributions of African American artists like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, and Lisa Fischer to legendary pop hits of our time. An homage to the artists behind the voices, the film brings a few of the rock and roll world’s unsung artists into the spotlight. Tickets are required. Visit for tickets. Contact (202) 707-5503.

Thursday, December 13, noon
Gallery Talk: “Sibyl E. Moses (1890-1972).” Reference Librarian Sibyl Moses will discuss the local and national activities of a southern African American woman, Sibyl E. Moses (1890-1972) of Anniston, Alabama during World War I. Contact (202) 707-0245.

Thursday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.
Film: “Round Midnight” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building. Jazz saxophone legend Dexter Gordon is the subject of a new autobiography/biography, Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press, 2018). A book talk by Maxine Gordon will precede film screening. Tickets are required. Visit for tickets. Contact (202) 707-5503.

January 2019

Thursday, January 10, 7 p.m.
Film: “All That Jazz” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building.

Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m.
Film: “Gold Diggers of 1933” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building.

Friday, January 18, noon
Gallery Talk: “The Pan-African Congress of 1919.” Manuscript historian and exhibition curator Ryan Reft will discuss the goals and outcomes of the 1919 Pan-African Congress, led by NAACP founder W.E.B. Du Bois, which called for greater rights for citizens of colonized African nations in the wake of World War I. Contact (202) 707-0245.

Thursday, January 24, 7 p.m.
Film: “Staying Alive” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building.

Thursday, January 31, noon
Gallery Talk: “Jackie Robinson at 100.” On the centennial of Jackie Robinson’s birth, Manuscript Division specialist Jeff Flannery will discuss Robinson’s life and legacy as represented by his papers and those of Branch Rickey. Both collections are held in the Library’s Manuscript Division. Contact (202) 707-0245.

Thursday, January 31, 7 p.m.
Film: “Stepping Out” in the Pickford Theater of the James Madison Building.

Concerts at the Library of Congress
The phenomenal 2018-2019 season features the extraordinary music and legendary performers you expect to hear at the nation’s Library. In our splendid concert hall, nestled in the stunning architectural environment of the Thomas Jefferson Building, you can encounter an impressive range of musical experiences, free of charge. A full listing of concerts and performances is available at For additional information contact the Concerts Office at (202) 707-5503 or

Winter Tour Offerings
The Library of Congress offers a variety of tours for families, music lovers, bibliophiles, international visitors and you! Including but not limited to:

  • Touch History Tour: Visitors with visual impairments are invited to experience a walking tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The Touch History tour is led by a specially trained docent who uses vivid language to describe the building. Tours last about one hour.
  • Whittall Open House: Periodically, the Library opens the Music Division's Whittall Pavilion for public viewing. A volunteer from the Office of Visitor Engagement is on hand to describe and answer questions about the Whittall's Stradivari string instruments, flute collection and artwork. Visitors are invited to take advantage of these opportunities to experience this beautiful and intimate space.
  • Family Building Tour: A tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building for elementary school aged children (ages 6-12). Children must be accompanied by an adult. Capacity is 25 participants (including adults) welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to accommodate as many children as possible, adult participation may be limited to 2 per extended family group. Tours last approximately 40 minutes and leave promptly from the Jefferson Ground Floor Center Information Desk.
  • Family Mythology Tour: Experience the Thomas Jefferson Building as Mount Olympus! Discover your favorite gods, heroes and mythological characters at the Library of Congress. For ages 8-14. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adult participation may be limited to two per extended family or friend group. Check in at the ground floor information desk for availability. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours are approximately 40 minutes.
  • Spanish Language Tour: Centro para Visitantes de la Biblioteca del Congreso ofrecerá visitas guiadas en español del edificio Thomas Jefferson. Las visitas están limitadas a 25 personas en orden de llegada. Reserve su espacio con 30 minutos de antelación al comienzo de la visita en el mostrador de información para visitantes que está localizado en la planta baja. Las visitas duran una hora aproximadamente y abarcan un preámbulo de la historia y servicios de la Biblioteca y el arte y la arquitectura del histórico edificio Thomas Jefferson. Solicite acomodaciones del Acta de Americanos con Discapacidades (ADA, sigla en inglés) con cinco días laborables de antelación a través del (202) 707-6362 o en
  • French Language Tour: Direction de l’Accueil du Public de la bibliothèque du Congrès propose des visites guidées en français de l’édifice Thomas Jefferson. Les visites sont limitées à 25 personnes par ordre d’arrivée. Réservez votre place 30 minutes avant le début de la visite au comptoir d’information du rez-de-chaussée. Les visites durent à peu près une heure et incluent un aperçu de l’histoire et des services offerts par la bibliothèque, ainsi que l’art et l’architecture de l’immeuble historique Thomas Jefferson. Pour les personnes en situation de handicap selon l’American Disability Act (acronyme ADA), veuillez contacter avec cinq jours ouvrables d’avance le (202) 707-6362 ou

Please check the website ( for additional dates and information.

Exhibitions at the Library
Exhibitions are open Monday–Saturday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Exhibitions can be viewed online at

  • Baseball Americana features items from the Library of Congress collections and those of its lending partners to consider the game then and now—as it relates to players, teams, and the communities it creates. Although baseball has stayed true to many of its customs, it has also broken with tradition through the invention, competition, and financial interests that still make it the most played sport in the country.
  • Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I features 200 items that include correspondence, music, film, recorded sound, diaries, posters, photographs, scrapbooks, medals, maps and materials from the Veterans History Project. Southwest Gallery, second floor.
  • The Herblock Gallery features a selection of 10 cartoons — with new drawings every six months — and provides an opportunity to learn more about Pulitzer Award-winning artist Herbert L. Block. Graphic Arts Galleries, ground floor.
  • Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood showcases the rare Abel Buell map of 1784, along with seven state maps and a railroad map. First floor, North Gallery.
  • Hope for America: Performers, Politics & Pop Culture focuses on Bob Hope and other entertainers who chose to involve themselves in the political climate of their times. Ground floor.
  • Exploring the Early Americas tells the story of the Americas before the time of Columbus, as well as the periods of contact and conquest and their aftermath. Visitors can also explore Thomas Jefferson’s Library, featuring thousands of original volumes that provided the foundation for the Library of Congress and its universal collections. Northwest Gallery, second floor.
  • Here to Stay: The Legacy of George and Ira Gershwin showcases items from the Gershwin Collection in the Music Division, the world's pre-eminent resource for materials about the Gershwins. Ground floor.

Exhibition Tours

  • Baseball Americana
    A free docent-led tour of Baseball Americana is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as well as 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
  • Echoes of the Great War
    This free, docent-led tour examines highlights of the exhibition, including arguments about the America’s involvement in World War I, experiences of the war over here and over there, and the world the war created. Tours are scheduled for 1 p.m. on November 1–3, 6, 8–9, 13, 15–16, 23, 27, 29–30; December 1, 4, 6–7, 11, 13–14, 18, 20–21, 27–28; January 3–5, 10–11, 15.
  • Exploring the Early Americas
    This free, docent-led tour examines indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica and the drama of their encounters with Europeans. It features selections from the Jay I. Kislak Collection as well as the Waldseemüller maps, created in 1507 and 1516. Tours are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on November 5, 7, 9, 14, 16, 19, 26, 28, 30; December 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17, 19, 21; January 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 18, 23, 28, 30.

Research Orientations at the Library of Congress
These sessions are a basic introduction for researchers using the Library of Congress collections and resources. Each session includes an overview of the Library's reading rooms and collections, guidelines on how to locate and request materials in a closed-stack library, suggestions on how to conduct research efficiently in the Library of Congress, instruction on how to use Library of Congress subject headings and other sources for searching accurately by subject, information on how to find published bibliographies and topical indexes in print and automated formats, information on using the Library's catalogs in card and online forms, procedures for finding citations to journal articles, and an overview of electronic resources, including subscription databases.

Orientations are held on weekdays and Saturday mornings. There are multiple winter season dates currently available. The orientations are free, but due to expected demand, tickets are recommended, and there may be special restrictions. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event ticketing site ( for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed.

Support the Library of Congress
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The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world – both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at and register creative works of authorship at


PR 18-137
ISSN 0731-3527