On March 13 and 14, 2008, leading scholars from throughout the United States will join experts from the Library of Congress in a free public presentation, Art, Culture, and Government: The New Deal at 75. The symposium at the Library, and similar events in the Washington, DC area, are aimed at re-focusing attention on the New Deal, the multi-faceted social, cultural, and fiscal recovery programs launched by the Roosevelt administration in 1933, to reform and reinvigorate national life in the wake of the Great Depression.
The Library presentations feature contemporary scholarship and recent discoveries inspired by the Library's unparalleled collections of documentary materials from that era. They highlight the lasting impact this federal initiative has had on culture, documentation, and conservation. In a day-long symposium on March 14, invited scholars will present recent research based on New Deal materials, primarily case studies that demonstrate how innovative interpretation of the Library's archival holdings continues to inspire new revelations and reassessments of twentieth-century American culture.
The Library events provide the public an opportunity to gain greater awareness of the Library's extraordinary collections of unique, primary documentation created by New Deal programs, including manuscripts, photographs, audio recordings, and graphic art materials. An especially exciting development for the scholarly research community will be the unveiling of the New Deal Web Guide during a unique afternoon program on March 13. The New Deal Web Guide provides an overview of special collections held by the Library of Congress and links to digitized materials and selected resources relating to New Deal programs in Library of Congress divisions. The guide also links to major collections of New Deal program materials held at other institutions.
In addition to the launch of the Web Guide, staff from several Library divisions, and colleagues from other government agencies, will discuss and display a selection of materials from their New Deal holdings, including rare collections, recent acquisitions, and under-utilized treasures.
The Library events are complemented by programs at the National Archives and Records Administration, including a panel discussion, Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932 on Thursday, March 13, at 7pm and an all day festival of rare government-produced period films, For a Better America: The New Deal on Film, on March 15.
You may wish to consult our selected list of books, essays, recordings, films and other resources, to familiarize yourself with the core concepts and themes to be addressed during the symposium.
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