I just got back from my trip to Washington. I managed to visit the Library of Congress, National Portrait Gallery, and even sneak in a quick rendezvous to the Postal Museum while I was killing time this morning waiting for my bus. I was glad to see that the U.S. and International Stamps Gallery is again open to the public. When I was there about two years ago it was closed due to a leak in that part of the museum. It is good to see it up and running again. The stamps themselves are, after all, what the museum is all about.
The coolest thing I saw over the weekend was the Jedediah Hotchkiss map of the Shenandoah Valley, which was part of the Library of Congress’s sesquicentennial exhibit. According to this 1948 LOC document the Library of Congress owns over 600 hundred Hotchkiss maps from during and after the war. Major Hotchkiss was a cartographer who worked primarily for Stonewall Jackson. The one on display was from Jackson’s Valley Campaign. One does not have to be a Lost Causer to admire it as a work of art and engineering. I’m not sure how this one entered the collection, but apparently it was acquired by the Library of Congress in 1964. The how’s and why’s of how such documents get into various collections is fascinating in and of itself. In the case of the Civil War, collections were often donated to various repositories and museums by children or grandchildren well into the twentieth century, as late of the 1950s and 60s.
Catching up on my email and internet, I noticed that Beatle mentor Tony Sheridan died over the weekend. I always thought of him as being so much older than the Beatles but he was only 72, more or less the same age as Fabs. I mentioned just the other day that the Beatles and their inner circle are passing on. A few days ago Amazon UK posted the bibliographic details for volume one of Mark Lewisohn’s trilogy. As Lewisohn said there might be, there is to be an “author’s cut” and a “publisher’s cut.” Volume one for the author’s cut logs in at over 1,800 pages. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with that is new. The first volume ends in December 1962, so there will be a great deal on the late Tony Sheridan. Sad to know he’s gone.