The Library of Congress has over 20 centers that provide research space and guidance for users to interact with collection items based on subject or format. The Hispanic Reading Room curates materials from 61 countries and/or regions in 26 different languages and in varying formats such as books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, and digital objects. The Hispanic Reading Room staff provides access to materials from the General Collections and helps point researchers to relevant items in other reading rooms. Selected digitized primary source materials from the Library’s collections are highlighted below along with links for further exploration.
The Library's American Folklife Center houses one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world, which include extensive audiovisual documentation of traditional arts, cultural expressions, and oral histories offering researchers access to the songs, stories, and other creative expressions of people from diverse communities.
The following webcast is an example of one of the many American Folklife Center sponsored live performances. Here, AFC challenged musical artists to interpret material from its unparalleled archive of ethnographic recordings of traditional folk music. Artists were asked to put their own spin on these archival treasures, and to perform them at a special showcase during the Folk Alliance International conference in Montreal, Canada in 2019. The showcase was recorded for this webcast. This video features Brooklyn-born, Swiss-raised and Toronto-based blues vocalist Shakura S'Aida and Jamaican-born Canadian bassist Roger Williams performing the song "Love Me" from a field recording of an unidentified woman made in Clarksdale, Mississippi in 1942.
The Library's Prints and Photographs Division is the repository for a rich collection of prints, photographs, and other visual materials on and about Jamaica from significant artists and photographers. Many of these items have been digitized and are available to researchers online. Many other visual materials are available to researchers in the Library's Prints and Photographs Reading Room.
The Law Library of Congress includes a vast collection on foreign legal materials, such as Constitutions, Codes, Session laws, Commentaries and indexes to laws, rules and regulations, Judicial court decisions and reports, and Legal bibliographies.
Access to legal materials related to Jamaica are provided by the Law Library, including:
The Manuscript Division holds approximately sixty million items in eleven thousand separate collections, including some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture and support scholarly research in many aspects of political, cultural, and scientific history. The Library's Manuscript Reading Room provides access to archival materials on and about Jamaica, including primary sources from cultural figures, authors, and politicians.
The Library's Geography and Map Division has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5 million maps, 100,000 atlases, 8,000 reference works, over 5000 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, over 130,000 microfiche/film, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats. Many of these materials have been digitized and are available online. Materials that have not been digitized are available from the Geography and Map Reading Room.
The Performing Arts Reading Room (part of the Library's Music Division) provides access to classified music and book collections, music and literary manuscripts, iconography, microforms, periodicals, musical instruments, published and unpublished copyright deposits, and close to 500 special collections in music, theater, and dance.
To hear recordings or interact with audio materials in the Library's collections visit the Recorded Sound Research Center which is part of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.
Rare materials about and from Jamaica in the Library of Congress collections are vast and filled with treasures. Researchers should visit the the Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room to learn more about rare materials available online as well as special collections that contain significant resources on Jamaica.