May 19, 2022

New Resources: Library of Congress Releases Three Interactive “Story Maps” Powered by Esri Technology

From the Library of Congress:

The Library of Congress has launched three new online interactive applications that highlight creative ways to facilitate the accessibility of thousands of collections, using the Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-based tool Story Maps.

Presenting the information in a curated format, Story Maps allows users to combine text, images and multimedia content in an online application that tells stories through data and the capabilities of GIS technology, within a software platform created by Esri

From the first female photographers who traveled through the South to newspapers that were produced in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II, the featured applications showcase striking images from the Library’s collections and use data to map the attributes and history behind some of the books, manuscripts and other objects.


“This innovative technology allows curators at the Library of Congress to connect collections online like never before,” said Paulette Hasier, chief of the Geography and Map Division at the Library and pioneer of this new initiative. “Story Maps showcases Library treasures while serving as a roadmap for the public on the infinite and engaging ways they can use our data.”

Led by Hasier, a team of GIS specialists, software developers and curators are using GIS tools to delve deep into the Library’s hidden treasures and making the stories of these collections accessible to the public.

The Story Maps

One story map highlights the Library’s extensive collection of incunables, which are extremely rare books printed before the year 1500.

Another story map, titled “Surveying the South,” explores the photography of Frances Benjamin Johnston, one of the first female photographers who gained notoriety for her architectural pictures in the 1930s.

The third, called “Behind Barbed Wire,” looks at a collection of newspapers that were produced in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. The newspapers, many of which are digitized and accessible through the story map, provide an almost day-to-day record of life in the camps, highlighting things like baseball scores, religious services and other events, affecting the lives of those interned.

Read the Complete Announcement

Note: With a free account from Esri anyone create Story Maps

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.