Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940, Jill Brett (202) 707-2905

June 18, 1993

Library of Congress Initiates Traveling Exhibits Program

The Library of Congress is initiating a new program of traveling exhibitions that will share the rich intellectual content of its collections with cultural institutions across the United States and extend the reach of its interpretive programs beyond the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

The program is starting with eight different exhibitions covering a wide variety of subjects and formats, from 16th century manuscripts documenting the cultures that Europeans first encountered, to the exploration of contemporary issues that journalists confront every day as they report the news. The cost of the exhibitions includes all curatorial and design work; insurance, and installation instructions; text panels and labels; public relations materials; and, in most cases, a variety of publications such as catalogs, posters, brochures, and educational packets.

There are three types of presentations in the traveling exhibition program. The first is small, freestanding, facsimile exhibitions exploring ideas and issues of contemporary significance. Interactive means, either mechanical or electronic, are used to convey themes, topics and ideas. This format is ideally suited for libraries, schools and universities, public buildings, historic sites and other places with limited security.

Medium-size exhibitions combine facsimiles and original materials, a format that is suitable for museums, some libraries, universities, and other facilities which can meet moderate or high security and environmental requirements. The third kind of presentation available through the Library's traveling exhibition program is major interpretive exhibitions containing original and often very valuable artifacts. This format is appropriate for galleries, museums, historical societies, libraries and other institutions which are able to meet high security and environmental requirements.

A brief description of the eight traveling exhibitions currently being produced by the Library follows.

Small freestanding facsimile exhibitions:

"Paradox of the Press" -- explores the paradoxes faced by the media as they report current events and confront issues central to freedom of expression. For example, what is the balance between the individual's right to privacy versus the public's right to know? When is political coverage balanced and when is it biased? During wartime, how much control should be exercised over the release of information? How does the cult of personality affect the reporting of the news by television journalists? These and other paradoxes are illustrated with historical as well as the most contemporary examples.

"Language of the Land: Journeys into Literary America" -- offers a tour through the literary landscape of the U.S. using maps, the verbal imagery of American authors, recreations of some of their characters and photographs of the landscape. The words of Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, N. Scott Momaday, Walt Whitman, and Eudora Welty, among others, are included in the exhibition, which explores how authors have shaped our view of America's regional landscapes.

"In Their Own Voices" -- presents three visually compelling documents created by American Indians in the 16th century and provides viewers with the "key" to unlock the documents so that they may experience what American Indians thought, valued, and remembered about their societies.

Medium-size exhibitions:

"Documenting America 1936-1943" -- includes 15 series of 198 photographs from the files of the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information during the New Deal/World War II era. Some of the best known photographers include: Gordon Parks, Dorothea Lange, Marion Post Wolcott, and Walker Evans. Their images -- of California migrant workers, Miami Beach, New York City, and Japanese-American relocation among other subjects -- offer a rich social and political portrait of the nation as it recovered from the Depression and entered World War II.

"Ties and Attachments: Italian Americans in the West" -- explores the settlement of Italian families in the United States and how their presence influenced the social, cultural, and commercial landscape of the West.

"Party Animals: A Political Primer" -- presents 41 graphic and textual materials that trace the evolution of the rise and demise of political party animal symbols over the past 150 years through political cartoons.

"Moving Back Barriers: The Legacy of Carter G. Woodson" -- focuses on the themes that Woodson, founder of Black History Month, thought were central to understanding the contributions of African Americans to American society. Included in the exhibition are books and articles written by Woodson, as well as photographs, historical documents, and, most notably, the materials that Woodson collected and donated to the Library of Congress.

Major interpretive exhibition

"The (Un)Changing Americas" -- examines three themes (world view and religion, economic and social order, the arts and recreation) in the history of the Americas and how they were affected by the contact with European and African cultural influences in the 15th century.

Library of Congress traveling exhibitions may be used for educational purposes only; no special admission fees may be charged without prior written permission.

Further information on the Library's traveling exhibition program may be obtained from the coordinator of the program, Ileen Sheppard Gallagher, in the Library's Interpretive Programs Office, at (202) 707-5223.

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PR 93-083
ISSN 0731-3527

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