Many libraries around the nation are now placing digital collections online and making them more easy to access. I thought I would highlight what the Library of Congress is doing with their collections – as the content covers many disciplines and offers “extras” such as lesson plans and tools to assist teachers in their use.
The Library of Congress Digital Collections can be viewed by topic here. There are collections in Religion and Philosophy, American and World history and cultures, Science and Technology, Sports and Recreation, Maps and Geography, Arts and Culture, Government and Law, and Journalism and Newspapers.
As I was reviewing the collections in Religion and Philosophy, I discovered they have the online exhibit of “Illuminating the St. John’s Bible” (an exhibit I had the privilege of seeing in person at the Library of Congress a few years ago) – we have copies of these beautiful books in the Stamps Reference room and a set in our Special Collections as a part of our Bible collection.
The website also has links to a wide variety of special lectures that are available as webcasts (nearly 100 lectures in the various fields of religion). The Religion webcasts are found here. I had the privilege of working for the Library of Congress for five years earlier in my career (before arriving at APU) and often attended the lectures and special programming and participated with some of the exhibits – so it was a delight to see the rich content that has been made available online.
For those of you who might have a familiarity with the THOMAS.gov website (Thomas for Thomas Jefferson) – the Library of Congress website for legislative research, there are a few changes coming to upgrade the system and make the resources more easily available on mobile applications. The new system, now in beta-testing, is called Congress.gov. More information about the changes are posted here. The site is a terrific tool to locate information on legislation, member votes, and in general – how Congress works.
If you have not had an opportunity to visit the Library of Congress yet, I have included two images – the first of the exterior of the Thomas Jefferson Building and the second, an interior view of the Jefferson Building’s famous reading room. Hopefully, with these images in mind, you can tour through the digital collections and perhaps feel as if you are wandering the halls and collections in person. Happy browsing!