Summer 2023 Fellow: N/A

Office Description

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States and the largest library in the world, with more than 170 million items in diverse languages, disciplines, and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. The Library seeks to spark the public’s imagination and celebrate human achievement through its programs and exhibits. In doing so, the Library helps foster the informed and involved citizenry upon which American democracy depends. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on site, in its research centers on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning website:

The Library’s Music Division holds over 25 million items spanning more than 1000 years of Western music history and practice. These holdings include music and book collections, iconography, periodicals, musical instruments, original production designs, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and over 600 special collections in music, theater, and dance. The Division’s holdings have been showcased in live concerts to the public since 1925.

Description of the Work

Conduct original research on two musical instruments, a bugle and a drum (with three pair of sticks), that were manufactured and played during the United States Civil War, discovering the stories of their manufacture, their players, and the paths the instruments took while in action. Uncovering these stories will take the summer intern to the collections within the Library’s Music Division, Prints & Photographs Division, and the Geography & Maps Division. The work is done primarily with a Music Division curator, various Music Division staff, and a digital library specialist, as well as collaboration with staff from the Prints & Photographs Division. Content will be put together in either a plan for a StoryMaps or other interactive digital display (for which training will be provided) or web content in the Musical Instruments Collections portion of the Music Division website, as well as venues for increased awareness of the Civil War musical instruments collection through the Library’s social media channels (e.g., blog or Facebook posts).

Desired Skills

Curiosity about musical instruments, musicians and music in the past; an interest in the complexities of cultural heritage; enjoyment of reading and writing. Knowledge of research methods and ability to analyze primary and secondary sources, including music, photographs, historic newspapers, manuscripts (cursive script), and online databases is preferable. Interest in 19th century musical instruments, music, U.S. geography and the U.S. Civil War. Advanced research skills and ability to write engagingly on historical and musical topics for a general audience on current social-media platforms. Main Fellowship Disciplines: Music, History, Maps/Geography, and comfort learning new software.

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