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Archives of an Attack

The Internet Archive’s Understanding 9/11 video archive features footage from 20 news outlets spanning the period from the morning of September 11 to September 17, 2001. Like Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, the events of September 11, 2001, have left a […]

The Reader’s Road Trip

Illustration: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries and Anastasia Krasavina/Adobe Stock In 1986, Friends of Libraries USA President Frederick G. Ruffner Jr. had the ambitious idea to start the Literary Landmarks Association, an organization that would encourage the development of historic literary sites across the US. Thirty-five years later, his vision has been realized: 187 Literary Landmarks spanning […]

Bookend: Archiving the Afterma...

Ellen Keith, director of the Chicago History Museum Library, displays items related to the Great Chicago Fire. Photo: Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries Nearly 150 years after it leveled 18,000 buildings and killed 300 people, the Great Chicago Fire (October 8–10, 1871) lives on—in the city’s tourist attractions, sports team names, and soon in a Chicago History […]

Bookend: History Rolls On

Monique Sugimoto, librarian and archivist for Palos Verdes Library District’s Local History Center, points out over the coast. Photo: Erik Jay From housing former military installations to settling neighborhood squabbles over lighthouse design to becoming overpopulated with wild peacocks, Palos Verdes Peninsula, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, is full of history. Monique Sugimoto, […]

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, […]

Tarnished Legacies

A Lakota camp in 1891. During his presidency, Benjamin Harrison forced the Sioux Nation to divide among separate reservations in the Dakotas and sent the military to Wounded Knee. Photo composite: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (Harrison, Lakota, tipis) For 67 years, Princeton (N.J.) University’s School of Public and International Affairs bore the […]

Responsive and Responsible

A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials. Photo: Amherst College Archives and Special Collections It’s not news that libraries and museums have a long and problematic history of mishandling Indigenous materials. From exhibiting culturally sensitive items to retaining materials that were unlawfully seized, […]

Separate—and Unequal

Carrie C. Robinson Fifty years ago this week, Carrie C. Robinson—a Black school librarian whose long career revealed much about the Jim Crow South, the challenges of integration, and librarianship in the civil rights era—settled a landmark case for racial justice in the profession. After being passed over for a promotion, she had sued her […]