January 28, 2022

The Library of Congress Debuts New Online Collection: “Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond”

From The Library of Congress:

To commemorate the acquisition of The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, the Library of Congress presents an exploration of cosmology, planetary science, and astrobiology that span across the breadth of its collections and offers a first glimpse into Carl Sagan’s papers.


Source: Loc.Gov

This online collection includes three primary sections:

  • Models of the cosmos throughout history
  • History of the possibility of life on other worlds
  • Carl Sagan’s life and contributions to science and society


The goal of this collection is to explore connections between some of Carl Sagan’s work, communicating about the cosmos and the possibilities of life on other worlds and the extensive diversity of collections of the Library of Congress. It is a thematic showcase of digitized items from many corners of the collections, brought together with the hope of prompting visitors to expand their knowledge and come to their own understanding by engaging with a range of digitized primary sources. Unlike a physical exhibition, this online presentation is not limited by what can be framed and hung on a wall. Whenever possible, books, manuscripts, radio broadcast and other materials have been digitized in full. The result is a wealth of material, much of it full-text searchable for visitors to explore.

Nothing about this online collection and presentation is intended to be comprehensive. This is true of both the historical narrative in the thematic essay presentations and the selections of featured items from across the Library’s collections. Instead, this collection and its essays, are intended to glance off the various topics discussed and serve as a point of entry to a wide array of primary source treasures related to the history of astronomy and ideas about life in the universe in the Library of Congress collections. It’s a hypertext, a linked juxtaposition of interpretation – explication and primary sources intended to be explored in whatever path a visitor wants to take.

Direct to Online Collection: Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.