WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress is opening a new digital collection of the “Songs of America” to help teach the nation’s history through music.

The library’s new free online resource launched this week. It includes 80,000 digitized items, including recordings, videos, sheet music, essays, biographies, maps and curator talks.

The new collection allows users to search by time period, location and format, listen to digitized recordings, watch performances and examine sheet music and other documents.

Some of the highlights include the first music textbook published in colonial America in 1744 and Irving Berlin’s handwritten lyric sheet for “God Bless America.”

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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