Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Best (and Newest) Danny Kaye Website Ever


The Library of Congress' new website offers a delicious sampling of Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine's work.

Today, the Library of Congress officially launches its amazing new website for its Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Collection.

The site can be accessed at www.loc.gov/kayefine, or go direct to the home page at http://lcweb2.loc.gov/natlib/kayefine/index.html.

Among the features are biographical information, an interactive timeline of Kaye’s career, and recordings of several songs, radio shows, and films (including his four shorts for Educational Pictures).

But the jackpot is hundreds of images of original pieces from the collection—rare family photographs, Sylvia’s hand-drawn orchestral scores and typed lyric sheets, scripts, personal letters, and more.

Many of the treasures I’d seen before, during my weeks digging through the collection’s several hundred bankers’ boxes in Washington, D.C., but having instant access is even better. But as much as I loved poring over the dusty artifacts, I was disappointed to learn that I was one of the few members of the public to do so during the 20 years the Library of Congress has held the bulk of the collection for 20 years. (In fact, the materials were so infrequently viewed that after I viewed the last of the boxes, most of them were moved off-site and now must be viewed by appointment.)

Hopefully, making key pieces available online will not only give Danny and Sylvia’s work greater exposure, but also inspire others to visit the Library and enjoy the remaining 90% of the treasure trove for themselves.

3 comments:

  1. Not guilty your honour! If my place of residence was even in the same continent as the Library of Congress and had I known about this collection, I would surely have visited it. That's why this online exhibit is such a treat. Fifteen years ago, all I could get hold of concerning Danny Kaye would be the odd magazine article with a single picture, often of dubious quality. Now I even get to see his family pictures! Thank God for the Internet Quizz: there is a group picture from Danny and Sylvia's wedding day. Can you identify the couple on the left of the picture? Could it be Sylvia's brother with his wife? What is your specialist's opinion?

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  2. If you're referring to this photo...
    http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/loc.natlib.ihas.200186736/pageturner.html
    ... Sylvia's brother Bobby/Robert Fine is at far left, next to sister Rhoda.

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    1. That's exactly the picture I meant. And I thought Rhoda was next to Sylvia. I knew you'd rise to the occasion. Thanks a lot.

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