24 episodes

Watch videos highlighting fascinating artifacts from our treasured collections as presented by Library of Congress curators. In partnership with HISTORY.

Hidden Treasures at the Library of Congress Library of Congress

    • History

Watch videos highlighting fascinating artifacts from our treasured collections as presented by Library of Congress curators. In partnership with HISTORY.

    • video
    The Man Who Discovered an Icon

    The Man Who Discovered an Icon

    These two letters written by baseball's Branch Rickey illustrate his incredible instincts when it came to evaluating talent and the close relationship he developed with Jackie Robinson.

    • 3 min
    • video
    A Picture of Humanity

    A Picture of Humanity

    The photograph popularly known as "Migrant Mother" has become an icon of the Great Depression. The compelling image of a mother and her children is actually one of a series of photographs that Dorothea Lange made in February or March 1936 in Nipomo, California. Seeing the photograph in the context of related images, understanding the purpose for which it was made, and knowing something of the photographer's and subject's views of the occasion amplify our perspectives on the image, and, at the same time, suggest that no single meaning can be assigned to it.

    • 3 min
    • video
    A Legend is Born

    A Legend is Born

    The character of Spider-Man first appeared in Marvel Comics' Amazing Fantasy #15 in August, 1962. The chemistry of Stan Lee's script and Steve Ditko's art made the tale of a high school outcast accidentally bitten by a radioactive spider an instant success. An anonymous donor gave the first Spider-Man drawings—an icon of comic book literature—to the Library in 2008. The Prints and Photographs Division collects, preserves and makes accessible tens of thousands of examples of original cartoon art, among other achievements of American visual creativity, and offers an annual fellowship to graduate students studying cartoon art in any academic field.

    • 2 min
    • video
    The Book That Saved a Life

    The Book That Saved a Life

    Maurice Hamonneau, a French legionnaire and the last survivor of an artillery attack near Verdun in the First World War, lay wounded and unconscious for hours after the battle. When he regained his senses, he found that a copy of the 1913 French pocket edition of Kim by Rudyard Kipling had deflected a bullet and saved his life by a mere twenty pages.

    • 2 min
    • video
    273 Words to a New America

    273 Words to a New America

    President Lincoln gave a copy of the Gettysburg Address to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. According to Nicolay, Lincoln had written the first part of the speech on Executive Mansion stationery, and the second page in pencil on lined paper right before the dedication on November 19, 1863. Matching folds are still evident on the two pages of the Nicolay draft, supporting the eyewitness' argument that Lincoln kept it in his coat pocket before the ceremony.

    • 2 min
    • video
    The Most Wanted Man in America

    The Most Wanted Man in America

    The suspicion that John Wilkes Booth had acted as part of a conspiracy of Southern sympathizers in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln reignited Northern rancor and helped doom Lincoln's plans for a relatively generous peace. This was one of the earliest "Wanted" posters to bear a fugitive's photograph. Hastily assembled and issued during the few days that Booth was at large, this poster incorporated carte-de-visite photographs of the conspirators, including one of Booth that had been produced as a publicity shot for the actor.

    • 2 min

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