Live at the Library to Celebrate Black History Month, Presidents Day in February
Black American Collections Highlighted with Displays, Concert Performance
Dive deep into the Library’s collections in celebration of Black History Month with displays and a performance from the Library’s American Folklife Center during Live at the Library in February. Plus, step back in time with an intimate look at the presidency of Calvin Coolidge in honor of Presidents Day.
On Thursday evenings, the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building and all exhibitions are open for extended hours from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to enjoy happy hour drinks and snacks available for purchase in the Great Hall overlooking the Capitol and the Library’s beautiful architecture while immersing themselves in the Library’s exhibits, collections and programs.
Free timed-entry passes or an event registration are required to enter the Thomas Jefferson Building. Visit loc.gov/visit to reserve your pass for Live at the Library.
Programming Highlights for February
Feb. 2: Join for the American Folklife Center Open House to kick off Black History Month from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors can explore collection items related to African American history and heritage in the United States and ask questions of curators. Reserve a timed-entry pass.
Feb. 16: Step back in time during An Evening with Calvin Coolidge, in celebration of the centennial year of Coolidge’s inauguration as president. Enjoy a curated display on Coolidge’s presidency, where tradition met the new modern, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Great Hall. Stay for the premiere of the new documentary film on the life and presidency of Calvin Coolidge, “Coolidge: Rediscovering an American President,” followed by a panel discussion from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Members Room of the Thomas Jefferson Building (Room 162). The discussion panel will feature Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore and current president of University of Baltimore; Steve Forbes, chairman, Forbes Media; and Amity Shlaes, chairman of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and author of four best-selling books including “Coolidge.” Reserve a timed-entry pass.
Feb. 23: The Library’s American Folklife Center presents African Folk Music with Jake Blount at 6 p.m. in the Members Room of the Thomas Jefferson Building (Room 162). A gifted musician and scholar of Black American music, Blount sourced field recordings from the collections of the American Folklife Center for his latest album “The New Faith.” Blount will perform on voice, banjo and fiddle for this performance. Reserve a timed-entry pass.
Exhibitions On View
View the display “Black History Month 2023: Black Resistance” through the end of February. Explore how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression from America’s earliest days into the 21st century. Items featured are from the Rare Book and Special Collections, Manuscript and Prints and Photographs Divisions.
Explore more Library exhibitions during Live at the Library. The Library’s exhibition, “Join In: Voluntary Associations in America,” explores the history of voluntary associations that reveal the aspirations of Americans as “a nation of joiners,” while also acknowledges these groups have sometimes reflected society’s exclusions, discriminations and division. The exhibit is on display in the South Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building.
“Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library” represents a sampling of the more than 15 million photographs held by the Library, ranging from the early days of photography to today. Take a look at the “first selfie,” which is thought to be the world’s oldest known photographic self-portrait, and see important pictures of Harriet Tubman, the Wright brothers and more.
Live at the Library is part of a broader effort to reimagine the visitor experience at the Library of Congress that invites visitors to enjoy the Library and its collections in new formats during extended evening hours on Thursday night. The series regularly features special conversations, music, performances, films and workshops that showcase the broad range of holdings at the national library.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.