Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Symposium for The First White House Library

The Library of Congress will by hosting a one-day symposium on May 7, 2010 to celebrate the publication of The First White House Library: A History & Annotated Catalogue. [For a detailed program, click here].

At the beginning of the day, visitors may choose one of two optional tours in the Library of Congress. Mark Dimunation, Chief of Rare Book and Special Collections, will give a tour of the new exhibition of Thomas Jefferson’s library [see also the digitized catalog of Jefferson's library; his books on medicine and anatomy are described in volume 1 at pp. 395-455], and John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book, will lead a tour that features the iconography, quotations, and inscriptions of the Library’s Jefferson Building.

The symposium program begins officially at 10:00 a.m. with a plenary address by Catherine M. Parisian, the editor of The First White House Library, followed by the presentation of copies of the book to the National First Ladies’ Library and the White House.

Other conference sessions will focus on books and reading in the White House. Douglas L. Wilson, Co-Director, Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, and Jean Baker, Mary Todd Lincoln’s biographer, will discuss President and Mrs. Lincoln. Other featured speakers on the topic of First Ladies and reading will include the noted first ladies historian Carl Anthony; William G. Allman, Curator of the White House; Nancy Beck Young, biographer of Lou Henry Hoover; and Abigail Fillmore’s biographer Elizabeth Thacker-Estrada. The program will conclude with a plenary address by distinguished historian and author Sean Wilentz. A closing reception will follow.

RSVP: This event is free and open to the public. To assist with preparations, we ask those planning to attend to RSVP to Stacyea Sistare-Anderson, Center for the Book, (202) 707-5221,

The symposium is sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and the National First Ladies’ Library.

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