The Library of Congress unveils a series of four murals in the anteroom of the Hispanic Foundation. Among the most distinguished gifts in the Library’s history, the murals were painted by Cândido Portinari, who was commissioned by the Brazilian Government.
Library managers, in a series of reports, describe the increased demands that the war is making on the services of the Library of Congress. Harold Spivacke, Chief of the Music Division, writes: “Still another important contribution of the Recording Laboratory was the designing and construction of an unique combination portable radio-phonograph for field use which is proving highly successful in all overseas outposts.”
Librarian Archibald MacLeish instructs Frederick Goff, Rare Book Room, to plan, prepare, and publish a catalog of the books in the Jefferson Library (the collection that Thomas Jefferson sold to Congress that was the basis of the Library in 1815) in honor of the Library’s bicentennial celebration of Jefferson’s birth (1743-1826).
The Librarian’s General Order No. 1110 announces the establishment of the Librarian’s Council, a scholarly advisory group. The purpose of the Council is to "make recommendations to me for the conduct of our services, the development of our collections, and the initiation and control of bibliographical studies."
Lucy Salamanca’s Fortress of Freedom: The Story of the Library of Congress, a popular history of America’s great library, is published.
Luther Harris Evans gives the address: “The Library of Congress and the War” before the Librarian’s Council. He tells Council members that the Library, in support of the war, has increased its circulation of books, opened its study facilities to researchers from government agencies, provided reference and bibliographic services to government researchers, changed its hours of service, and struggled to find a balance between serving the federal establishment and the general public.
Keeper of the Collections Alvin W. Kremer submits to the Librarian a detailed report on efforts to secure the collections during the war. Kremer notes that Library managers considered building a bombproof shelter or using warehouses and natural caverns but decided that the libraries of educational institutions located away from coastlines would be the best places to store the evacuated collections of the Library of Congress.
In the ongoing attempt to collect foreign publications that would support the war effort, Librarian Archibald MacLeish writes William Donovan, Director of the Office of Strategic Services and requests the help of his office in acquiring materials for the Library.