A few items of possible interest which I’ve decided to throw all together in one entry, as my lineup of Things to Blog About is getting longer and longer:
- “Building a Living Legacy: Jefferson’s Academical Village,” a blog accompanying the exhibit at the University of Virginia Art Museum, “Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village: The Creation of an Architectural Masterpiece, 1817-1824”, which will open this coming September. The last time I looked at this site it was so new it was still populated with that filler-Latin content (you know, “post ipso facto lorem whatsey whosit”), but there’s some great stuff there now – for example, a listing of both free and enslaved men who worked on the Academical Village building project and the tasks they performed.
- The main page of the Thomas Jefferson Papers Collection at the Library of Congress cropped up in my Google Alert, so something’s new there. I’m thinking it’s the link to the collection of quotes at the bottom of the page, but I could be wrong. Even if that’s not new, it’s a great collection, so it’s worth looking at, especially if you’re one of those bloggers out there contemplating using a spurious Jefferson quote.
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Recently on a weekend trip to D.C. I stopped in at the Library of Congress to visit the Thomas Jefferson’s Library exhibit. This reconstructed library of the books Jefferson sold to Congress in 1815 was unveiled on Apr 12 this year as part of the new Library of Congress Experience, exhibits that allow users to interact with primary sources from American history.
This is not the first time Jefferson’s reconstructed library has gone on display. In 2000 as part of the Thomas Jefferson exhibition to commemorate the Library of Congress Bicentennial, the library was put on public display for the first time in Jefferson’s own arrangement, which he described as “sometimes analytical, sometimes chronological, and sometimes a combination of both.” Since 2000 several hundred missing volumes have been purchased and added to this assemblage.
The books are arranged in three sections. What’s new are interactive touchscreen panels in front of these three sections namely, “Memory,” “Reason,” and “Imagination” – the classification Jefferson used based upon Francis Bacon’s organization of knowledge. He interpreted these categories as “History,” “Philosophy,” and “Fine Arts,” which he further divided into forty-four chapters. By touching the screen users can drill down through each of these chapters to see the titles and authors of the books that Jefferson had. They can choose from a selection of Jefferson titles from a virtual bookshelf, and “turn” the pages of a digitized version of Jefferson’s very own copy of that book. Examples include the 1805 edition of Mercy Otis Warren’s History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, and the 1734 edition of The Builder’s Dictionary; or Gentleman and Architect’s Companion. The Library of Congress Experience’s companion site, MyLOC.gov, allows users to save digital images of primary source materials on the site into their own collections for teaching and learning.
So next time you’re in the D.C. area, go check this out …
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