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NAACP Artifacts Go Online

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Members of the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet sing Duke Ellington's 1932 hit, "Sophisticated Lady," during the launch of an online exhibit at the Coolidge Auditorium on Capitol Hill.
Stephanie Kaye
Members of the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet sing Duke Ellington's 1932 hit, "Sophisticated Lady," during the launch of an online exhibit at the Coolidge Auditorium on Capitol Hill.

By Stephanie Kaye

Records of the NAACP, the most visited collection at the Library of Congress, are being highlighted in an online exhibit. Not only is it the most visited collection, it's the Library's largest, with about five million artifacts.

Curator Adrienne Cannon worked on the exhibit.

"We look at the rise of Booker T. Washington as a leader, we look at the phenomenon of lynching through the activities of Ida B. Wells Barnett, one of two African American women founders of the NAACP," she says.

But not all five million artifacts are going online, says Cannon. She says getting enough money to digitize 70 pieces for the Internet was tough enough. The Library has to raise private funds to pay for exhibits. But Cannon says it was worth the effort.

"The NAACP took the lead in trying to break down the color barrier in the United States, which had its origin in the original sin of slavery," she says.

Along with the launch of the online records, the Library will host a public lecture on February 26th, capping its tribute to the NAACP during Black History Month.

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