Library of Congress

Through the Freedmen's Bureau, formerly enslaved people were able to obtain formal legal recognition of their marriages.

Innovation for Good

Newly Digitized Freedmen's Bureau Records Help Black Americans Trace Their Ancestry

Genealogists, historians and researchers can now peruse more than 3.5 million documents from the Reconstruction-era agency

Famed illustrator Thomas Nast designed this celebration of emancipation, with Abraham Lincoln inset at the bottom, in 1865

Black Lives Certainly Mattered to Abraham Lincoln

A look at the president's words and actions during his term shows his true sentiments on slavery and racial equality

Ma Rainey poses with her band for a studio group shot c. 1924-25.

'The Great Gatsby,' Songs by Ma Rainey and Other Classic Works Are Now in the Public Domain

Canonical books, songs and films became free to use in 2021

The Library of Congress recently completed a major digitization effort, making collections of 23 U.S. presidents' papers available online for study. From left: Calvin Coolidge, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Benjamin Harrison and Thomas Jefferson; behind: Jefferson's June 1776 draft of the Declaration of Independence

Library of Congress' Presidential Papers, From Washington's Geometry Notes to Wilson's Love Letters, Are Now Online

Four newly added collections mark the conclusion of a two-decade digitization project

Roosevelt exchanged lively correspondence with all kinds of people for much of his life.

Library of Congress Seeks Volunteers to Transcribe Letters to Theodore Roosevelt

The campaign is part of a broader crowdsourcing effort aimed at making archival materials more accessible to the public

Several line items in Alexander Hamilton's cashbook indicate that the Founding Father purchased enslaved labor for his own household.

New Research Suggests Alexander Hamilton Was a Slave Owner

Often portrayed as an abolitionist, Hamilton may have enslaved people in his own household

Thousands of volunteers helped transcribe the Library of Congress' Lincoln letters.

Education During Coronavirus

Read Thousands of Abraham Lincoln's Newly Transcribed Letters Online

The missives, preserved by the Library of Congress, include notes to and from the beloved president

When the Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, first saw the new image of Harriet Tubman (above, detail), she said: "She's young!"

Why Harriet Tubman’s Heroic Military Career Is Now Easier to Envision

The strong, youthful visage of the famed underground railroad conductor is the subject of the Portrait Gallery’s podcast “Portraits”

Joy Harjo is the author of eight poetry books, among them The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award.

Women Who Shaped History

Joy Harjo, First Native American Writer to Be Named U.S. Poet Laureate, Reappointed for Second Term

Harjo, a member of the Muskogee Creek Nation, says the appointment "honors the place of Native people in this country, the place of Native people’s poetry"

The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Virtual Travel

Explore Washington, D.C. From Home With This Free, Smithsonian Scholar-Led Tour

Narrated by Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Richard Kurin, the 24-part video series blends history with modern mainstays

A stained glass window designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany is one of many artworks available for your perusal.

Virtual Travel

68 Cultural, Historical and Scientific Collections You Can Explore Online

Tour world-class museums, read historic cookbooks, browse interactive maps and more

Shawn Walker, Neighbor at 124 W 117th St, Harlem, New York, ca. 1970-1979

Library of Congress Acquires 100,000 Images by Harlem Photographer Shawn Walker

The African American photographer was a founding member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an art collective launched during the 1960s

Harjo, pictured at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Joy Harjo’s New Poetry Collection Brings Native Issues to the Forefront

The recently announced U.S. Poet Laureate melds words and music to resist the myth of Native invisibility

Nearly 16,000 pages of letters, speeches, newspaper articles and other suffragist documents are now available on By the People.

Women Who Shaped History

The Library of Congress Needs Your Help Transcribing Suffragist Papers

Nearly 16,000 pages of diaries, letters, speeches and other documents are available on the library’s crowdsourcing platform

Walt Whitman in 1869, as photographed by William Kurtz

Rare Walt Whitman Artifacts Go on View at Library of Congress for Poet's 200th Birthday

The library holds the world’s largest collection of Whitman-related items

Illustration from woodblock-printed text on the life of Gautama Buddha

Library of Congress Digitizes Taiwanese Watercolors, Rare Chinese Texts

The library's rare Chinese book collection includes 5,300 titles, 2,000 of which will ultimately be included in the online portal

The Library of Congress has digitized rare children's books

Rare Children’s Books Digitized by the Library of Congress

Festive felines and wayward rockets come to life online in honor of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week

These illustrations come from a miniature book of classical Persian poetry.

The Library of Congress Has Digitized 155 Persian Texts Dating Back to the 13th Century

Offerings include a book of poetry featuring the epic <em>Shahnameh</em> and a biography of Shah Jahan, the emperor who built the Taj Mahal

Georgia O’Keeffe. Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz, 1919.

Newly Public Letters Show Georgia O’Keeffe’s Quest for Independence

The Library of Congress has acquired a collection of letters from the artist to filmmaker Henwar Rodakiewicz

A portait of Omar Ibn Said made around the 1850s

Only Surviving Arabic Slave Narrative Written in the United States Digitized by Library of Congress

Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy intellectual from West Africa, wrote about his capture and enslavement in America

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