LC Labs Letter: November 2020

November 2020

A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Our Projects

It’s not too late: apply to be a CCHC researcher today!

The call for researchers to work with Library collections at scale as part of the Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud (CCHC) project is still live! We anticipate selecting up to four research projects from three Program Areas. Submit a 2-page concept paper by 12:00 pm EST on November 30, 2020 to be considered.

As a reminder:

You can also read more about how the project plans to inform the design of possible service models in the GLAM sector in this recent article.

Announcing Speculative Annotation: the 2021 Innovator in Residence project

LC Labs is pleased to announce visual, research-based artist Courtney McClellan as the 2021 Innovator in Residence! McClellan’s project, Speculative Annotation, will invite Americans to creatively engage with a curated collection of free to use items from the Library’s vast treasure chest centered on the question: how does the past influence the future?

With just a web browser, Speculative Annotation will present items from Library collections for students, teachers or any users to annotate through captions, drawings and other types of visual expression. Working with Library curators, grade school students and teachers in the classroom, McClellan’s project will encourage students to engage firsthand wit primary sources – and support conversations between students and educators about these historical objects.

Hot Off the (Digital) Press: New Posts on the Signal

  • “An Archivist’s Perspective on Legacy Files”: a closer look at how 2020 Staff Innovator and archivist Chad Conrady tackles the challenge of outdated or legacy files that are no longer compatible with contemporary operating systems or software.
  • “LC for Robots in Action”: a story about reference librarian Elizabeth Brown and Prof. Derek Miller of Harvard University using LC for Robots resources to access Library of Congress digital collections for a quantitative history of Broadway in the twentieth century.
  • “Nominations sought for the U.S. Federal Government Domain End of Term 2020 Web Archive”: a call for members of the public to submit their nominations for any federal government website they’d like to see archived by the Library’s Web Archives team. It’s also the 20th Anniversary of Web Archiving this year–join the conversation on Twitter using #WebArchiveWednesday.
  • “Analyzing the Born-Digital Archive” : a deep dive into the thousands (yes, thousands!) of file extensions contained in the Manuscript Division’s born-digital holdings by 2020 Staff Innovator Kathleen O’Neill.


Tell Us More

What else do you want to know about our work this month? Email us at [email protected] with questions we can answer in next month’s newsletter!


To subscribe to the monthly LC Labs Letter, visit //

For more information about LC Labs, visit us at

Questions? Contact LC Labs at [email protected]


Newspaper Navigator Search Application Now Live!

On September 15, 2020, the Library of Congress announced the release of Newspaper Navigator, an experimental web application which makes 1.5 million photographs from the dataset from Chronicling America available to the public to explore for the first time. Read more about the design and features of the project below or jump straight to the newly launched application at // !

Finding By the People Transcriptions in the Library’s Digital Collections

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Victoria Van Hyning, who served as a By the People Community Manager at the Library from 2018-2020. Starting in Fall 2020, she will be an Assistant Professor of Library Innovation at the University of Maryland iSchool, where she will continue her research on crowdsourcing, outreach, and inclusion.   The […]

LC Labs Letter: April 2020

LC LABS LETTER A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team Editor’s Note As it did for many people across the country and all over the world, the month of March brought new ways of working and communicating and challenging, complex circumstances for the LC Labs team. We found […]

Newspaper Navigator Surfaces Treasure Trove of Historic Images – Get a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Data Jam!

Projects like Newspaper Navigator are busy unlocking even more digital content for members of the public to access from home. On May 7th at 2pm EST, Innovator in Residence Ben Lee will host a virtual data jam to experiment and play with thousands of images—including maps, advertisements, comics, and more!—from historical newspapers dating to the 1800s. In this post, Ben discusses his aspirations for engaging the American public with the millions of images he extracted from  Chronicling America.

Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud Quarterly Update

This is a guest post from LC Labs Senior Innovation Specialist Laurie Allen. This is the second post in a series where we are sharing experiences from the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud. The series began with an introductory post.  Learn about the grant on the experiments page, and see the […]