In this issue
Archives
Issue #39 March 27, 2014 Mar 27, 2014 Mar 27
Issue #36 February 13, 2014 Feb 13, 2014 Feb 13
Issue #24 August 29, 2013 Aug 29, 2013 Aug 29
Issue #20 July 4, 2013 Jul 4, 2013 Jul 4
Issue #9 January 31, 2013 Jan 31, 2013 Jan 31
Issue #1 October 11, 2012 Oct 11, 2012 Oct 11
 
 
 
From Issue #4 November 22, 2012

The Sound of Silence

America’s archive of audio recordings remains quietly out of range of hearing.

By Glenn Fleishman Twitter icon App.net icon 

The Library of Congress occupies three massive and ornate buildings in the center of Washington, D.C. But those edifices house just part of the collection, which spans hundreds of miles of shelves across many less-interesting buildings, and extends to media beyond books.

To find the heart of the nation’s audiovisual memory, I took a lovely drive along ever smaller highways heading southwest from Washington, D.C., to Culpeper, Virginia, where sound recordings, films, and video reside in temperature-controlled vaults beneath Mount Pony.

Passing historical sites like Bull Run1 and Manassas, and watching the landscape shift rapidly from government buildings and commercial high rises to strip malls to farms and antique stores, it...

Get a free 7-day trial with full access to all back issues to finish reading this article. Sign up here or download The Magazine’s app for iPad and iPhone. Existing subscribers, log in to keep reading.

We’re independently owned, have no ads, and are entirely funded by subscribers.