Found on the Web
We Surf So You Don't Have To


Regular readers (you know who you are) have probably seen a number of postings on the Library of Congress’ American Memory site. If you’ve never visited the site, you’re truly missing out. It is a massive online representation of the treasures of the Library of Congress and they’re constantly adding more collections to their online presence.

The latest collection is An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals, circa 1490-1920. Okay, okay, so it’s a little obscure but bear with me. Dancing now mostly evokes images of teenagers thrashing about or maybe of weddings, but it used to be a major social event and institution. So much so that there were tons of manuals covering its etiquette, protocols, and instruction.

For example, How to Dance from 1878 goes into voluminous detail about what amounts to trivia for us. People, though, used to eat this stuff up. It really gives you a feel for the past—and that’s the purpose of the American Memory site.