Patricia Bearden (left) and Raquel Flores-Clemons present “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration" at DPLAfest in Chicago on April 20.

DPLAfest Comes to Chicago

April 25, 2017

Several presentations highlighted efforts to document, preserve, and share digital collections on social justice and community engagement. Preserving African-American history on Chicago’s South Side “Partners in History: Chicago State University Archive and International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry Digital Collaboration,” led by Chicago State University (CSU) Archivist Raquel Flores-Clemons, Patricia Bearden, president … Continue reading DPLAfest Comes to Chicago


Children read in the Soissons Library in Aisne, France, after World War I. Photo: ALA Archives

The French Connection

February 16, 2017

Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. Morgan was a frequent visitor to France. When war broke out, she threw herself into relief work for the Allied cause. In 1917, she created the American Committee for Devastated France, better known as CARD … Continue reading The French Connection


Joseph Janes

Revisiting an Old Friend

January 3, 2017

Anyway, in the chapter on the library and society from Shera’s 1976 textbook Introduction to Library Science, he writes in the first paragraph: “It is axiomatic … that the library as a social instrumentality, is, as it has always been, conditioned and shaped by the social milieu within which it functions” (emphasis mine). Well. We’ve … Continue reading Revisiting an Old Friend


Dewey Decibel podcast Episode Eight: Hail to the Chief's Library

Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries

December 1, 2016

Meredith Evans, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta. American Libraries managing editor Sanhita SinhaRoy talks with Meredith about managing a presidential library, her work with President Carter, and more. Jodi Kanter, associate professor of theater at George Washington University and author of the book Presidential Libraries as Performance: Curating American … Continue reading Dewey Decibel Podcast: Presidential Libraries


Lyndon B. Johnson. Photo: Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum

By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries

November 1, 2016

1939 Year the Presidential Library System began. Franklin D. Roosevelt donated his presidential and personal documents to the federal government. 643 Number of hours of recorded telephone conversations the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum has collected. The conversation topics range from the assassination of JFK to dealing with the USSR. 45 Number of meetings … Continue reading By the Numbers: Presidential Libraries


Librarian's Library: Karen Muller

All in the Family

September 1, 2016

Fostering Family History Services: A Guide for Librarians, Archivists, and Volunteers, by Rhonda L. Clark and Nicole Wedemeyer Miller, offers practical advice, with bibliographical notes, on how to establish a family history service within the framework of existing programming and outreach. The authors assert that providing family history resources is more about offering guidance and … Continue reading All in the Family


Meredith Farkas

Our Digital Heritage

May 2, 2016

Libraries have always played a role in preserving local history, but that job has become more complex as the formats in which materials may be available continue to multiply. On the other hand, the technologies to digitize and post local history resources online have become cheaper and more readily available, even to small libraries. Some … Continue reading Our Digital Heritage


Ken Burns at Midwinter 2016

Ken Burns on “Grover Cleveland, Again!”

January 9, 2016

Documentarian Ken Burns sits down for an interview with American Libraries to discuss his new children’s history book, Grover Cleveland, Again! He also reveals the common thread that unites nearly all United States presidents and presents an idea for improving the teaching of history.


Sarah Vowell. Photo: Bennett Miller

On the Road with Lafayette

October 29, 2015

The Marquis de Lafayette, a French aristocrat who fought for the US in the American Revolutionary War, is a ubiquitous but overlooked character in American history. He touched many significant events, people, and places: the Revolution, Herman Melville, Marie Antoinette, and also our modern parks, cities, and roads. The name “Lafayette” is everywhere in the US, … Continue reading On the Road with Lafayette


tablet with historical document

Digitizing History

July 31, 2015

Cambridge goes online Cambridge Archive Editions (CAE), in partnership with East View Information Services, has digitized its collection of British archival documents from the 18th to the 20th century, including original print volumes and accompanying maps, and made them available as online editions via the East View ebook platform. Twenty-five years’ worth of accumulated CAE … Continue reading Digitizing History


Ephemera from the local history reference collection at Albany County (Wyo.) Public Library in Laramie.

What To Collect?

July 29, 2015

Where to begin The patron base for your LHRC will help determine types of materials and subject matter to acquire. Another factor is how much space you have to house the materials. And, of course, your budget is an important consideration. What can your library afford? You may have to build slowly, but that’s okay. You … Continue reading What To Collect?