Annual August Lecture Series Focuses on Library of Congress

A mural and coffers in the ceiling of the Northeast Pavilion of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society will present its annual summer lecture series on Wednesdays in August. This year’s series focuses on the Library of Congress, with speakers discussing elements of its history, art, architecture, and collections.

Panel of The Arts by Kenyon Cox, Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress

Panel of The Arts by Kenyon Cox, Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress (Carol Highsmith, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

The series is free and open to the public. Lectures will be held on August Wednesdays from noon to 1 pm* in Ketchum Hall in the VFW Building at 200 Maryland Ave. NE; Washington, DC 20002. PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUESTED.


PLEASE NOTE: The August 2 lecture will begin at 1 pm.

AUGUST 2: Janice McKelvey, Library of Congress
“A Capitol Tour of the Library of Congress”

PLEASE NOTE: This lecture will begin at 1 pm.

Jan McKelvey graduated from the 2010 Docent Class of the Library of Congress and was hired as a Visitor Services Coordinator in 2012. In addition to doing LOC building tours, Jan has conducts two LOC specialty tours and public VIP tours of many LOC exhibits. She also volunteers periodically at the Capitol Visitor Center, and it was through that position that she became very interested in the Library spaces in the Capitol.


AUGUST 9: Tom Hoban, Library of Congress
“The Construction and Decoration of the Jefferson Building”

Tom Hoban earned a PhD from the University of Nebraska but has spent most of career as an environmental and contract lawyer (MSL and JD, Vermont Law School). Since retiring in 2010, he has been a volunteer at the Visitors’ Services Office, acting as volunteer docent at the Library of Congress and giving tours of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.


AUGUST 16: Stephen Winick, American Folklife Center
“Dipping from the Well: Treasures from the American Folklife Center Archive”

Stephen D. Winick is the editor at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. He edits the blog “Folklife Today,” which presents articles on folklore and folklife topics with an emphasis on Library of Congress collections. He has published hundreds of articles on folksong, folk music, legends, ballads, proverbs, nursery rhymes, and other folklore, and has spoken at universities, conferences, folk festivals, and other events from California to Vermont and from Montreal to Taipei.


AUGUST 23: Jeffrey Flannery, Manuscript Division
“History of the Library of Congress Manuscript Division”

Jeff Flannery is currently the Head of the Reference and Reader Services Section in the Manuscript Division, a position he has held since 2006. He came to the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress in 1985 and has earned a BA in history from Temple University, an MA from Duquesne University, and MLS from the University of Pittsburgh. The Library’s Manuscript Division is custodian of a world-renowned collection of more than 63 million primary source documents relating to American history—among them are the personal papers of such American notables as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Walt Whitman.


AUGUST 30: Lynda Cooper, U.S. Capitol Historical Society
“The Mosaic of Minerva by Elihu Vedder in the Library of Congress”

Lynda Cooper is a scholar specializing in American art, particularly the Beaux-Arts Movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She holds a doctorate in art history from Virginia Commonwealth University and two master’s degrees in art history and museum studies from Syracuse University. Cooper works as a research intern in the history department at the United States Capitol Historical Society, where she writes biographies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American sculptors for a book on the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. She is also a docent at the Library of Congress, where she gives slide presentations and gallery talks on the architecture, murals, sculptures, and mosaics of the Thomas Jefferson Building (1889-1897) to the current volunteers and docents-in-training. Cooper has recently been selected as a recipient of the Capitol Fellowship through the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Architect of the Capitol for 2018.