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First Emoji Book in the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress recently added its first all emoji book to its collection, “Emoji Dick” by Fred Benenson which is a retelling of “Moby Dick.”

Emoji translation of 'Call me Ishmael.'

Emoji are the little symbols like smiley faces and hearts that you may have seen used in text messages or on social media.

Benenson funded his book through a Kickstarter campaign and then had thousands of people translate one sentence of Moby Dick into emoji.

Michael Neubert, a recommending officer for the Library of Congress’ collections, said, “There is, in the literal sense, no other book in the Library’s collections like it. What is striking for the Library’s collections about this work is that it takes a known classic of literature and converts it to a construct of our modern way of communicating, making possible an investigation of the question, ‘is it still a literary classic when written in a kind of smart phone based pidgin language?’”

Learn more about the Library’s acquisition of “Emoji Dick.”