Episode 8: Thirty-one Cylinders

January 28, 2019

In this episode, Jer tells the story of how a team of Passamaquoddy elders, library preservation specialists and scholars restored and re-vitalized a series of traditional songs first recorded on wax cylinders in 1890. Featuring guests Donald Soctomah, Jane Anderson, Fenella France and Peter Alyea, and music by Dwayne Tomah, Peter Selmore, Pierre LeCout and Jeremy Dutcher.

Episode 7: The Serendipity Episode

November 29, 2018

Lets. Get. Serendipitous! 

A hand drawn map by Walt Whitman, 1939 field recordings by Alan & Ruby Lomax, a 15th century Sammelband and two men named Horace.

In this episode, Jer explores some curious objects and collections with Aditya Jain, Barbara Bair and Stephanie Stillo. He also talks about #SerendipityRun, his recent experiment in collective serendipity.

Episode 6: Be The Bit!

November 14, 2018

When you think of a library, you probably picture shelves and shelves of books. But modern libraries also hold a lot of things that are 'born digital'; items that exist only in electronic form. In this episode, Jer explores how digital things are collected, stored, and shared by the Library of Congress. 

You'll hear an interview with members of the Library's digital team, in which they discuss wide-ranging topics from collecting social media to cataloguing strange digital formats to the dangers of hash collisions.

Jer also digs into crowd.loc.gov, the Library's new platform for crowd-sourcing the transcription of thousands and thousands of its holdings.

Let's get digital!

Episode 5: Capital L

May 1, 2018

In this episode, Jer sits down with the 14th Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, to talk about the future of the library, the experience of the people who visit, and the potentially revolutionary technologies that might bring the Library to more people than ever. You’ll also hear a rare 1986 recording from one of Dr. Hayden and Jer’s mutual favourite authors, James Baldwin.

Episode 4: The LIVE Episode!

March 12, 2018

Recorded live in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, Episode 4 features interviews with Robert Casper, Adrienne Lundgren and Kathleen O’Neil. Data performance, poetic histories, eccentric 19th century artists, x-ray forensics and chaos theory all come together as Jer explores unusual ways to navigate large spaces, filled with information.

Episode 3: The Bureaucracy Episode!

January 30, 2018

In this episode Jer dives into what makes the Library of Congress tick. He’ll take you along on a tour of the acquisitions process, and he’ll speak to 45 year LOC veteran Beacher Wiggins about how the library and it’s operations have changed over a half century. Jer also talks to the Library’s comic book curator to get some insight into how that collection is growing and evolving, and to the Veteran’s History Project about their efforts to document the experiences of veterans past and present.

Episode 2: And the Territory

December 29, 2017

This week, Jer speaks with geographer/mathematician/curator/topologist John Hessler about what it might mean to map the Library’s holdings. We’ll also learn about how a left-handed draftsmanship contest changed veterans lives after the civil war, and we’ll take a peek into the journals of Greenwich Village impresario Izzy Young. Jer will also share some code experiments he’s been working on to map the Library’s lists of names to find polymaths - people whose careers span across many subject areas or conceptual domains. 

Episode 1: In the House of Avram

December 5, 2017
In this episode, Jer speaks with Kate Zwaard, Chief of National Digital Initiatives, to find out more about the history of the Library’s digital records and the future of the institution as a cultural hub and digital steward. We also find out about Rhoda Metreax’s 1957 work to understand the public reaction to the Sputnik launch, and we dig deep into a strange sheep-related census document from 1787.