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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Knew Nicolas Cage Wouldn’t Lie to Me!

posted by on August 27 at 12:04 PM


We just got a press release that informs us the Library of Congress has teamed with Disney to create a display of the Book of Secrets from National Treasure: Book of Secrets.


Shortly following the release of “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” millions of moviegoers might have left theaters around the world believing that the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library, was home to a book that holds all of the U.S. presidents’ secrets from alien autopsies to the truth about the JFK assassination, as well as the location of buried treasure. That was fiction, but the real story and the “reel” story merge a little when the “Book of Secrets” movie prop and a bonus feature about the Library and its formidable collections went on display this summer in the South Orientation Gallery on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Visitors to the Jefferson will have an opportunity to see the display through Sept. 27.

Joining the “Book of Secrets” in the display case is another prop from the movie, John Wilkes Booth’s diary. However, unlike the “Book of Secrets,” a Booth diary actually existed.


The full press release, if you’re interested, is after the jump. I think this is kind of sad, but I also understand these sorts of movies do pull in the tourists. I know somebody back in Maine who went to Philadelphia just because he loved National Treasure so much. (Semi-unrelated: This was the same guy who once told me that he heard “If you walk around Boston after midnight and you’re white, you’ll get shot,” and so I often wonder how his trip to Philadelphia went. He must’ve been terrified the whole time.)

The display also includes two “bonus features” that Disney created for some versions of the film’s DVD release. One highlights the making of the “Book of Secrets” prop, detailing the intricate work by designers to make the book look authentic. An expert calligrapher even used antique writing tools to copy the handwriting of actual presidents

The other bonus feature, “Inside the Library of Congress,” takes viewers on an extraordinary behind-the-scenes tour of the Library, including the Great Hall and rarely seen areas in the Main Reading Room. There are also interviews with the Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and curators from the Library’s custodial divisions, including Collections Access, Loan and Management; Geography and Map; Manuscript; Preservation; Rare Book and Special Collections; and Prints and Photographs, which houses rare photographs of Booth’s co-conspirators.

“Maybe the most extraordinary buildings in the world are St. Peter’s Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Library of Congress,” said the film’s director, Jon Turteltaub, on the nearly nine-minute featurette.

The video also includes interviews with members of the movie’s cast and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. “It is an historic building,” said Bruckheimer. “It is an historic place for all of our great literature and everything else about this great country and around the world.”

The Library has the largest collection of American and foreign-produced films in the world. Although it has played a major role in collecting and preserving the nation’s film heritage, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution has itself played multiple roles on the big screen.

In addition to appearing in “National Treasure” in 2004 and playing a pivotal role in its sequel, the Library was showcased in several movies dating back to the silent film era. Perhaps the most famous of these films were the 1951 version of “Born Yesterday,” starring Judy Holliday and William Holden, and “All the President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with more than 138 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. As the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, the Library is a symbol of democracy and the principles on which this nation was founded. Today the Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site, in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and through its award-winning Web site at and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at

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Every time I see his face on a movie poster I want jump in the sky and fly oh so high distract the devo box ama planganx delight.

Hello from the Oscars it's Dwight Michaelson Danielson. Sup jigga wuuuuuuut? I found some paper behind the dumpster that had some notes. Said something about Al Balvazor. The hell wrong witchoo?!

Posted by lol wut | August 27, 2008 12:21 PM

"Kind of sad" "These sorts of movies do pull in the tourists"

Yes. It's so cute when the interests of someone of lower intellect are stimulated by popular culture. Our superior appreciation of the arts is often debased by the hordes of these unwashed. The mere idea of tourists being in our hallowed collections can be such a bother to, we, the sincere patrons. I'm sure the great amount of time you spend wandering the halls of the Library of Congress in pursuit of your vast interests are spoiled by this rabble....

Let’s not look down on discovery. No matter its origin.

Posted by Zeldfelder | August 27, 2008 12:50 PM


Have you been to a movie lately? If those people can't keep their yaps shut during a movie, they certainly won't do it in any library.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 27, 2008 12:55 PM

Remember, if you hear a cell phone ring and someone starts talking loudly into it, it's ok to rip it out of their hands and throw it against a wall.

Other library patrons will thank you.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 27, 2008 1:09 PM

If you walk around in Boston after midnight and you're of any color, the most that will happen to you is no one will acknowledge you or make eye contact

Posted by CM | August 27, 2008 1:20 PM

@5, that's also true of Boston in the daytime.

It freaked me the fuck out when I moved to Seattle and people I didn't know would start talking to me at bus stops or on elevators. Total strangers around here will tell you their medical or romantic history out of the blue, the kinds of things that people in Boston would never discuss with family members who live in the same house with them.

Also, the hugging and touching *shudder*

Posted by Just Sayin' | August 27, 2008 2:08 PM

and people from Boston who've lived here for years have told me that everyone's too polite/passive aggressive here...and that Boston folks will be up front and say what's on their mind

which I totally disagree with

I'm a Philly-area guy, so I don't know what there is to say about me except for my love of processed meats

Posted by CM | August 27, 2008 2:21 PM

@7, Interesting, maybe Boston's changed since I lived there but people I knew never said anything that was on their mind, unless you mean feeling free to tell someone off or yell at someone.

People here are extremely passive/aggressive, though, as opposed to defensively aggressive/offensive. They don't "get" sarcasm here, either.

Posted by Just Sayin' | August 27, 2008 2:30 PM

Random comment on the movie: When the agents run into the LoC to apprehend Nick Cage they're carrying no guns, but instead are just pointing their fingers at him:

Pretty awesome.

Posted by Jason Petersen | August 27, 2008 3:33 PM

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