8 episodes

Join the Library of Congress’s Innovator-in-Residence Jer Thorp as he explores the 165 million items in the library’s collection and speaks with the librarians, archivist and technologists who try to make sense of it all.

Artist in the Archive Jer Thorp

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 13 Ratings

Join the Library of Congress’s Innovator-in-Residence Jer Thorp as he explores the 165 million items in the library’s collection and speaks with the librarians, archivist and technologists who try to make sense of it all.

    Episode 8: Thirty-one Cylinders

    Episode 8: Thirty-one Cylinders

    In this episode, Jer tells the story of how a team of Passamaquoddy elders, library preservation specialists and scholars restored and re-vitalized a series of traditional songs first recorded on wax cylinders in 1890. Featuring guests Donald Soctomah, Jane Anderson, Fenella France and Peter Alyea, and music by Dwayne Tomah, Peter Selmore, Pierre LeCout and Jeremy Dutcher.

    • 59 min
    Episode 7: The Serendipity Episode

    Episode 7: The Serendipity Episode

    Lets. Get. Serendipitous! 


    A hand drawn map by Walt Whitman, 1939 field recordings by Alan & Ruby Lomax, a 15th century Sammelband and two men named Horace.


    In this episode, Jer explores some curious objects and collections with Aditya Jain, Barbara Bair and Stephanie Stillo. He also talks about #SerendipityRun, his recent experiment in collective serendipity.

    • 48 min
    Episode 6: Be The Bit!

    Episode 6: Be The Bit!

    When you think of a library, you probably picture shelves and shelves of books. But modern libraries also hold a lot of things that are 'born digital'; items that exist only in electronic form. In this episode, Jer explores how digital things are collected, stored, and shared by the Library of Congress. 


    You'll hear an interview with members of the Library's digital team, in which they discuss wide-ranging topics from collecting social media to cataloguing strange digital formats to the dangers of hash collisions.


    Jer also digs into crowd.loc.gov, the Library's new platform for crowd-sourcing the transcription of thousands and thousands of its holdings.


    Let's get digital!

    • 52 min
    Episode 5: Capital L

    Episode 5: Capital L

    In this episode, Jer sits down with the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, to talk about the future of the library, the experience of the people who visit, and the potentially revolutionary technologies that might bring the Library to more people than ever. You’ll also hear a rare 1986 recording from one of Dr. Hayden and Jer’s mutual favourite authors, James Baldwin.

    • 53 min
    Episode 4: The LIVE Episode!

    Episode 4: The LIVE Episode!

    Recorded live in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, Episode 4 features interviews with Robert Casper, Adrienne Lundgren and Kathleen O’Neil. Data performance, poetic histories, eccentric 19th century artists, x-ray forensics and chaos theory all come together as Jer explores unusual ways to navigate large spaces, filled with information.

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Episode 3: The Bureaucracy Episode!

    Episode 3: The Bureaucracy Episode!

    In this episode Jer dives into what makes the Library of Congress tick. He’ll take you along on a tour of the acquisitions process, and he’ll speak to 45 year LOC veteran Beacher Wiggins about how the library and it’s operations have changed over a half century. Jer also talks to the Library’s comic book curator to get some insight into how that collection is growing and evolving, and to the Veteran’s History Project about their efforts to document the experiences of veterans past and present.

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

Hannah Rae3 ,

Absolutely Captivating

I started listening to the Bureacracy episode, and I coulld not stop listening, even though it was long...I'm so hooked, and can't wait to listen to more episodes.

rosie2008 ,

Fascinating and full of discoveries

This is a podcast for any curious individual interested in discovery of insights from the depths of the world’s largest library.

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