Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

May 3, 1999

More Than 50 Collections Now Available On-Line from the Library of Congress

Jefferson, Jazz Age and Animation Are Latest Offerings

The National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress has released three new collections of on-line materials, bringing to 53 the number of collections covered by the American Memory Web site, accessible at

In this first release of "The Thomas Jefferson Papers" users can access correspondence dating from 1621 through 1789 and materials relating to Virginia history, from 1606 to 1737. This project is funded by Reuters America Inc. and the Reuter Foundation, which is also funding the electronic version of the George Washington Papers, a portion of which are already on-line.

The Thomas Jefferson Papers are housed in the Manuscript Division of the Library, along with the papers of 22 other presidents, ranging from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. This is the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world and includes his rough draft of the Declaration of Independence.

More than 1,600 photographs of many of the greatest names in jazz are available in "William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz." The William P. Gottlieb Collection documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. In 1938 Gottlieb began working for The Washington Post, where he wrote and illustrated a weekly jazz column -- perhaps the first in a major newspaper. After World War II he was employed as a writer-photographer for Down Beat magazine, and his work also appeared frequently in Record Changer, the Saturday Review and Collier's. During the course of his career, Gottlieb took portraits of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald and Benny Carter. This on-line collection presents Gottlieb's photographs, annotated contact prints, selected published prints and related articles from Down Beat.

"The Origins of American Animation" traces the development of early American animation in 21 animated films and two fragments, which span the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet and cutout animation, as well as pen drawings. They point to a connection between newspaper comic strips and early animated films, as represented by "Keeping Up With the Joneses," "Krazy Kat" and "The Katzenjammer Kids." In addition to showing the development of animation, these films also reveal some of the social attitudes of early 20th century America.

The goal of the National Digital Library (NDL) Program of the Library of Congress is to make available, in collaboration with other institutions, 5 million items by 2000, the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress ( The NDL Program is one of the Library's birthday "gifts to the nation."

This NDL Program public-private partnership has raised more than $45 million in private money to digitize important American historical collections. The U.S. Congress has pledged $15 million to the effort.

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PR 99-067
ISSN 0731-3527

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