Starting on Friday, March 15, the National Archives will reduce public hours at two locations in the Washington, DC, area as part of actions it is taking due to sequestration.
These reductions will affect exhibit spaces and research rooms at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and research rooms at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.
In the past, the National Archives offered extended hours for exhibit spaces from March 15 through Labor Day, when the building stayed open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. We will no longer offer these extended hours. Exhibit spaces at the National Archives Building in Washington DC will remain open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., seven days a week, year round. Please note that the last admission will be at 5:00 p.m.
Research rooms at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, are normally open to researchers six days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. three days a week (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday). We will no longer offer these extended hours. The research rooms will remain open to researchers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, year round.
In announcing the reduced hours, the Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero said “We don’t take these reductions lightly. We are working hard to achieve our mission and minimize disruptions to the services we provide to the public.”
Thanks for your patience and understanding as we adjust our hours and work to serve researchers and visitors.
*Update: Please note the research rooms will still be open until 9:00 pm on Friday, March 15th. This will be the last day for extended hours. As of Saturday, March 16th, the research room hours will be 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
On South 9th Street on Nicollet Mall the Huge Clock provides the time and a Resting Place, 06/1973, National Archives Identifier 551447
So many songs, so many lawsuits. As February brings a plethora of romantic tunes to the airwaves and to people’s hearts, a copyright case recalls how one of the most popular Motown creations was alleged to have been plagiarized from another source.
When Baby Love was sung by popular “girl group” The Supremes, it became a number one song in 1964. It was written and produced by the prolific team of Holland-Dozier-Holland (H-D-H), a hit-making trio at the Detroit-based studio.
Record of Baby Love recorded by The Supremes in 1964, used as an exhibit in the court case.
However, in 1966, Lorenzo Pack, head of New York-based Packson Music Publishing Company, sued Motown Record Corporation, (subsidiary) Motown Sales Corporation, and the Jobete Music Company for copyright infringement. The civil action, case number 28687, was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, also located in Detroit.
Pack claimed his 1962 song I’m Afraid was copied in part by H-D-H. Pack, a former prize fighter, was questioned in painstaking detail about how he and co-writer Harper Evans came to compose the song together, with the opposing lawyer wondering how they were able to write the melody with only one of the men being able to read music “a little bit.” The retired pugilist explained that the two sang the song back and forth and wrote as much as they could until they were satisfied with it. Subsequently, they took the song to a musician who was able to formally write the music on “onion skin.”
Further, in Pack’s deposition he claimed he recorded I’m Afraid around 1962-1963, but did not release it immediately because he felt it was not quite complete. He waited a few months to go back to overdub the original. However, Packson Music ended up never releasing the song, even though it was recorded in a studio with several instruments, a lead singer, and backup singers. Moreover, it turns out there were 100 copies of the sheet music printed, but none were sold.
So that begs the question, if the song was not released, and the sheet music was not sold, how could H-D-H copy it? Pack claimed he played the song for and showed the music to a couple different companies in or around the famous Brill Building in New York, where many in the music industry were located. However, under intense questioning by one of the defendants’ attorneys, George Schiffer, Pack was unable to name most of the people who heard his song, although he was certain the wife and the sister of Berry Gordy, founder of Motown, were two of them.
The terse Schiffer finally asked Pack how I’m Afraid and Baby Love are similar. Pack claimed the first two bars of the songs are the same, the rhythmic structure is identical, the chord changes are similar, and that “there is an infringement in the melody.” Pack said he heard Baby Love on the radio and when he was humming it, “it struck me that ‘Baby Love’ was ‘I’m Afraid.’”
Exhibit used to compare the two songs named in the court case.
In addition to a few musicians who analyzed the songs and said they were dissimilar, there were depositions from those at Motown who, too, refuted Pack’s claims. Arranger Hank Cosby said Brian Holland, Eddie Holland, and Lamont Dozier brought him the song and that they had “very specific ideas about the whole arrangement and the sound they wanted to produce.” Cosby also said that “as an arranger of many years experience and a professional musician, it is obvious that the two songs…are very different…. The structure or form of the songs is not at all the same. I’m Afraid is in the old fashioned thirty-two (32) bar form. Baby Love is in the twelve (12) bar form. This form gives an entirely different feeling than a normal thirty-two (32) bar song. It would be much more emphatic and direct.”
Cosby concluded by stating that the only way the two songs are similar is they use a “two note theme.” But those themes have been used in numerous popular songs such as Till the End of Time, Dancing Cheek to Cheek, and It Might As Well Be Spring.
In April 1967, depositions were given by Holland, Dozier, and Holland. Lamont Dozier put it succinctly saying, in addition to his never having met Pack, “I had never heard the composition performed in any way and it was never sung to me by anyone. I have never seen…sheet music or any other written form of the composition I’m Afraid…. In no way was the song Baby Love based on anyone else’s ideas or suggestions.”
Brian Holland went into more detail about the creation of Baby Love. “When we write a song, we try to express real feelings about a real situation…. In writing the song for the Supremes it was obvious that we were writing for pretty young girls, of whom one is the so-called lead singer…. Therefore, in writing Baby Love, we pictured a simple story about a girl whose boyfriend has left her and who loves him very dearly and who would like the boy to come back. The music…fits this simple story.”
The “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” from October 1967 by Judge Talbot Smith stated that the song entitled I’m Afraid is “dissimilar in every material respect” from Baby Love except that they each use a “two-note motive” for their melodies, and that is common in “musical literature.” Also, “the Court further concludes that there was no evidence that the writers of Baby Love had access to the musical composition I’m Afraid.”
In the “Judgment,” from December 1967, Judge Smith ordered in favor of the defendants “dismissing the action with costs and disbursements to be taxed by the Clerk in favor of the Defendants and against the Plaintiff.”
Within a couple weeks of the dismissal, the plaintiff filed an appeal. Whether that case uncovered any more interesting testimony remains to be seen. But given the facts of the original case, Motown would have no cause to be afraid.
Photograph of Mrs. Adelaide Minogue Checking Humidity Recorder in Stacks, 1942 (National Archives Identifier: 3493247)
The National Archives, with the generous support of the Foundation for the National Archives, is now inviting proposals for the 2013 Regional Residency Fellowship Program.
The Residency Fellowship Program gives researchers the opportunity to conduct original research using records held at National Archives locations in Boston, MA; Denver, CO; Fort Worth, TX; Riverside, CA; San Francisco, CA; and St. Louis, MO. Researchers can explore overlooked records and experience what many researchers have discovered: that it is not necessary to go to Washington, DC, to do research at the National Archives.
For 2013, one fellow will be assigned to each of the participating National Archives facilities, for a total of six fellowships. Each fellow will receive a $3,000 stipend, funded by the Foundation for the National Archives, to assist with travel and research expenses.
The Fellowship recipients are expected to complete a research project that results in a publishable product. Each recipient will also prepare a short report (within one year of receiving the Fellowship) for publication by the National Archives that describes the research experience: the discovery, method, and use of the records.
We encourage our Fellowship recipients to use social media to talk about their experience. At the end of their research visit, Fellows will also conduct a staff briefing to share their discoveries.
Academic and independent historians, public and local historians, and writers are encouraged to apply. Current National Archives employees and contractors or their immediate family members are not eligible.
Submit proposals by e-mail or mail. Proposal must be received by March 15, 2013. Awards will be announced May 1, 2013.
What to send:
- A description and justification for the project, not to exceed six pages. This proposal should include:
- a description of the records to be used for research (there should be enough records in your location for a research visit of at least one week);
- a listing of the records that will be used at the location;
- the proposed final product; and
- the significance of the project to historical scholarship.
- Please also include:
- Vita (no more than three pages) including current contact information; and
- two letters of recommendation.
Proposals should be sent by mail or email to the NARA facility the researcher intends to use for the fellowship.
2013 Fellowship locations
National Archives at Boston
2013 Fellowship Program
380 Trapelo Road
Waltham, MA 02452-6399
National Archives at Denver
2013 Fellowship Program
17101 Huron Street
Broomfield, CO 80023
Fort Worth, TX
National Archives at Fort Worth
2013 Fellowship Program
1400 John Burgess Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76140
National Archives at Riverside
2013 Fellowship Program
23123 Cajalco Road
Perris, CA 92570-7298
San Francisco, CA
National Archives at San Francisco
2013 Fellowship Program
Lee J. Ryan Federal Building
1000 Commodore Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066-2350
St. Louis, MO
National Archives at St. Louis
2013 Fellowship Program
Attn: Ashley Mattingly (RL-SL)
P.O. Box 38757
St. Louis, MO 63138
For FedEx and UPS deliveries ONLY:
National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
Room 340, Ashley Mattingly
St. Louis, MO 63138-1002
Jennifer Johnson, an exhibit curator at NARA, would love your help finding records in the National Archives with signatures. She’s working on an exhibit and would love your suggestions.
At the National Archives, we have a range of signatures from the infamous (Lizzie Borden), to signatures of individuals before they were famous (Julia Child’s OSS paperwork), as well signatures that had the power to change someone’s life or to change history, such as a Presidential pardon.
We would like your help to tag records with “signature” in our online catalog. Don’t be restricted to any categories of records. Tag records that you think are interesting or surprising.
To get started tagging, you’ll need to:
If you know of interesting signatures in records that are not yet available in our online catalog, let us know in the comments below with as much information as possible about the record.
Today’s post comes from Stephanie Greenhut, Education Technology Specialist, in the Education and Public Programs division.
We’re going to ring in the new year here at the National Archives with a special celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Visitors to the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, can view the original document from Sunday, December 30, to Tuesday, January 1. The commemoration will include extended viewing hours, inspirational music, a dramatic reading, and family activities and entertainment for all ages.
For those who can’t make it to Washington or want to learn more, the National Archives presents The Meaning and Making of Emancipation. This eBook places the Emancipation Proclamation in its social and political context by presenting related documents from the National Archives’ holdings. These illustrate the efforts of the many Americans, enslaved and free, white and black, by whom slavery was abolished in the United States.
The Meaning and Making of Emancipation is available for free for multiple devices on our new eBooks page at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks.
- For iPad, download the interactive Multi-Touch book with iBooks on your iPad, or on your computer with iTunes.
- For iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, download it with iBooks, or on your computer with iTunes.
- For Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone, iPad, Nook, SONY Reader, other mobile device or eReader, or PC or Mac, download the ePub file from http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks. Open it with an eReader app on your phone or tablet, your eReader device, or an online ePub reader for your Mac or PC.
- Read it online on Scribd or on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet using the Scribd app.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. It formally proclaimed the freedom of all slaves held in areas still in revolt. After hosting a traditional New Year’s Day reception at the White House, and shaking hands with several hundred people, he signed the document with a shaky hand. President Lincoln said, “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right than I do in signing this paper.” Learn more and read excerpts from the eBook on the National Archives’ Pieces of History blog.
The Meaning and Making of Emancipation is the second commemorative eBook created by the National Archives. Exploring the United States Constitution celebrated the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. Each chapter connects one or more of the billions of records in the holdings of the National Archives to the principles found in the U.S. Constitution. This eBook is also available at http://www.archives.gov/publications/ebooks