Library of Congress

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This article is about the United States Library of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_0

For other uses, see Library of Congress (disambiguation). Library of Congress_sentence_1

Library of Congress_table_infobox_0

Library of CongressLibrary of Congress_table_caption_0
EstablishedLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_0_0 April 24, 1800; 220 years ago (1800-04-24)Library of Congress_cell_0_0_1
LocationLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_1_0 Washington, D.C., U.S.Library of Congress_cell_0_1_1
CoordinatesLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_2_0 Library of Congress_cell_0_2_1
BranchesLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_3_0 N/ALibrary of Congress_cell_0_3_1
CollectionLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_4_0
SizeLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_5_0 More than 38 million books and other printed materials, 3.6 million recordings, 14 million photographs, 5.5 million maps, 8.1 million pieces of sheet music and 70 million manuscripts, 5,711 incunabula, and 122,810,430 items in the nonclassified (special) collections:

more than 167 million total itemsLibrary of Congress_cell_0_5_1

Access and useLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_6_0
CirculationLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_7_0 Library does not publicly circulateLibrary of Congress_cell_0_7_1
Population servedLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_8_0 The 541 members of the United States Congress, their staff, and the American citizenry.Library of Congress_cell_0_8_1
Other informationLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_9_0
BudgetLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_10_0 $684.04 millionLibrary of Congress_cell_0_10_1
DirectorLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_11_0 Carla Hayden (2016–present) Librarian of CongressLibrary of Congress_cell_0_11_1
StaffLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_12_0 3,105Library of Congress_cell_0_12_1
WebsiteLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_13_0 Library of Congress_cell_0_13_1
MapLibrary of Congress_header_cell_0_14_0

The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_2

It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_3

The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. Library of Congress_sentence_4

The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. Library of Congress_sentence_5

The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world. Library of Congress_sentence_6

Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages." Library of Congress_sentence_7

Congress moved to Washington, D.C., in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. Library of Congress_sentence_8

In both cities, members of the U.S. Congress had access to the sizable collections of the New York Society Library and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Library of Congress_sentence_9

The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Library of Congress_sentence_10

Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, and the library sought to restore its collection in 1815. Library of Congress_sentence_11

They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. Library of Congress_sentence_12

After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. Library of Congress_sentence_13

After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew rapidly in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes that had been burned. Library of Congress_sentence_14

The library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps, illustrations, and diagrams printed in the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_15

It also began to build its collections, and its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol. Library of Congress_sentence_16

The library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. Library of Congress_sentence_17

The library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and library employees may check out books and materials. Library of Congress_sentence_18

History Library of Congress_section_0

1800–1851: Origin and Jefferson's contribution Library of Congress_section_1

James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. Library of Congress_sentence_19

The Library of Congress was subsequently established on April 24, 1800, when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Library of Congress_sentence_20

Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress ... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Library of Congress_sentence_21

Books were ordered from London, and the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. Library of Congress_sentence_22

President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_23

On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it. Library of Congress_sentence_24

The new law also extended borrowing privileges to the president and vice president. Library of Congress_sentence_25

The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. Library of Congress_sentence_26

These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. Library of Congress_sentence_27

One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810. Library of Congress_sentence_28

It was taken as a souvenir by British admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Library of Congress_sentence_29

Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Library of Congress_sentence_30

Congress accepted his offer in January 1815, appropriating $23,950 to purchase his 6,487 books. Library of Congress_sentence_31

Some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical, irreligious, and immoral tendency." Library of Congress_sentence_32

Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, history, law, religion, architecture, travel, natural sciences, mathematics, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, music, submarines, fossils, agriculture, and meteorology. Library of Congress_sentence_33

He had also collected books on topics not normally viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. Library of Congress_sentence_34

However, he believed that all subjects had a place in the Library of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_35

He remarked: Library of Congress_sentence_36

Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. Library of Congress_sentence_37

With the addition of his collection, which doubled the size of the original library, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one. Library of Congress_sentence_38

His original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. Library of Congress_sentence_39

Specifically, he grouped his books into Memory, Reason, and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions. Library of Congress_sentence_40

His library included subjects such as philosophy, history, law, religion, and many other topics. Library of Congress_sentence_41

The library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. Library of Congress_sentence_42

In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining. Library of Congress_sentence_43

By 2008, the librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. Library of Congress_sentence_44

1851–1865: Weakening Library of Congress_section_2

On December 24, 1851, the largest fire in the library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thirds of the library's collection and two-thirds of Jefferson's original transfer. Library of Congress_sentence_45

Congress appropriated $168,700 to replace the lost books in 1852 but not to acquire new materials. Library of Congress_sentence_46

This marked the start of a conservative period in the library's administration by librarian John Silva Meehan and joint committee chairman James A. Pearce, who restricted the library's activities. Library of Congress_sentence_47

Meehan and Pearce's views about a restricted scope for the Library of Congress reflected those shared by members of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_48

While Meehan was librarian he supported and perpetuated the notion that "the congressional library should play a limited role on the national scene and that its collections, by and large, should emphasize American materials of obvious use to the U.S. Library of Congress_sentence_49

Congress." Library of Congress_sentence_50

In 1859, Congress transferred the library's public document distribution activities to the Department of the Interior and its international book exchange program to the Department of State. Library of Congress_sentence_51

During the 1850s, Smithsonian Institution librarian Charles Coffin Jewett aggressively tried to make the Smithsonian into the United States' national library. Library of Congress_sentence_52

His efforts were blocked by Smithsonian secretary Joseph Henry, who advocated a focus on scientific research and publication. Library of Congress_sentence_53

To reinforce his intentions for the Smithsonian, Henry established laboratories, developed a robust physical sciences library and started the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, the first of many publications intended to disseminate research results. Library of Congress_sentence_54

For Henry, the Library of Congress was the obvious choice as the national library. Library of Congress_sentence_55

Unable to resolve the conflict, Henry dismissed Jewett in July 1854. Library of Congress_sentence_56

In 1865 the Smithsonian building, also called the Castle due to its Norman architectural style, was devastated by fire and presented Henry an opportunity in regards to the Smithsonian's non-scientific library. Library of Congress_sentence_57

Around this time, the Library of Congress was making plans to build and relocate to the new Thomas Jefferson Building, which would be fireproof. Library of Congress_sentence_58

Authorized by an act of Congress, he transferred the Smithsonian's non-scientific library of 40,000 volumes to the Library of Congress in 1866. Library of Congress_sentence_59

Abraham Lincoln appointed John G. Stephenson as librarian of Congress in 1861 and the appointment is regarded as the most political to date. Library of Congress_sentence_60

Stephenson was a physician and spent equal time serving as librarian and as a physician in the Union Army. Library of Congress_sentence_61

He could manage this division of interest because he hired Ainsworth Rand Spofford as his assistant. Library of Congress_sentence_62

Despite his new job, Stephenson's focus was on non-library affairs; three weeks into his term, he left Washington, D.C. to serve as a volunteer aide-de-camp at the battles of Chancellorsville and Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Library of Congress_sentence_63

Stephenson's term as librarian seems to have left little imprint on the library although hiring Spofford, who was left to run the library in his absence, may have been his most significant achievement. Library of Congress_sentence_64

1865–1897: Spofford's expansion Library of Congress_section_3

The Library of Congress reasserted itself during the latter half of the 19th century under Librarian Ainsworth Rand Spofford who directed it from 1865 to 1897. Library of Congress_sentence_65

He built broad bipartisan support for it as a national library and a legislative resource, aided by an overall expansion of the federal government and a favorable political climate. Library of Congress_sentence_66

He began comprehensively collecting Americana and American literature, led the construction of a new building to house the library, and transformed the librarian of Congress position into one of strength and independence. Library of Congress_sentence_67

Between 1865 and 1870, Congress appropriated funds for the construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, placed all copyright registration and deposit activities under the library's control, and restored the international book exchange. Library of Congress_sentence_68

The library also acquired the vast libraries of the Smithsonian and of historian Peter Force, strengthening its scientific and Americana collections significantly. Library of Congress_sentence_69

By 1876, the Library of Congress had 300,000 volumes and was tied with the Boston Public Library as the nation's largest library. Library of Congress_sentence_70

It moved from the Capitol building to its new headquarters in 1897 with more than 840,000 volumes, 40 percent of which had been acquired through copyright deposit. Library of Congress_sentence_71

A year before the library's move to its new location, the Joint Library Committee held a session of hearings to assess the condition of the library and plan for its future growth and possible reorganization. Library of Congress_sentence_72

Spofford and six experts sent by the American Library Association testified that the library should continue its expansion towards becoming a true national library. Library of Congress_sentence_73

Congress more than doubled the library's staff from 42 to 108 based on the hearings, and with the assistance of senators Justin Morrill of Vermont and Daniel W. Voorhees of Indiana, and established new administrative units for all aspects of the collection. Library of Congress_sentence_74

Congress also strengthened the office of Librarian of Congress to govern the library and make staff appointments, as well as requiring Senate approval for presidential appointees to the position. Library of Congress_sentence_75

1897–1939: Post-reorganization Library of Congress_section_4

The Library of Congress, spurred by the 1897 reorganization, began to grow and develop more rapidly. Library of Congress_sentence_76

Spofford's successor John Russell Young, though only in office for two years, overhauled the library's bureaucracy, used his connections as a former diplomat to acquire more materials from around the world, and established the library's first assistance programs for the blind and physically disabled. Library of Congress_sentence_77

Young's successor Herbert Putnam held the office for forty years from 1899 to 1939, entering into the position two years before the library became the first in the United States to hold one million volumes. Library of Congress_sentence_78

Putnam focused his efforts on making the library more accessible and useful for the public and for other libraries. Library of Congress_sentence_79

He instituted the interlibrary loan service, transforming the Library of Congress into what he referred to as a "library of last resort". Library of Congress_sentence_80

Putnam also expanded library access to "scientific investigators and duly qualified individuals" and began publishing primary sources for the benefit of scholars. Library of Congress_sentence_81

Putnam's tenure also saw increasing diversity in the library's acquisitions. Library of Congress_sentence_82

In 1903, he persuaded President Theodore Roosevelt to transfer by executive order the papers of the Founding Fathers from the State Department to the Library of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_83

Putnam expanded foreign acquisitions as well, including the 1904 purchase of a four-thousand volume library of Indica, the 1906 purchase of G. V. Yudin's eighty-thousand volume Russian library, the 1908 Schatz collection of early opera librettos, and the early 1930s purchase of the Russian Imperial Collection, consisting of 2,600 volumes from the library of the Romanov family on a variety of topics. Library of Congress_sentence_84

Collections of Hebraica and Chinese and Japanese works were also acquired. Library of Congress_sentence_85

Congress even took the initiative to acquire materials for the library in one occasion, when in 1929 Congressman Ross Collins of Mississippi successfully proposed the $1.5 million purchase of Otto Vollbehr's collection of incunabula, including one of three remaining perfect vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Library of Congress_sentence_86

In 1914, Putnam established the Legislative Reference Service as a separative administrative unit of the library. Library of Congress_sentence_87

Based in the Progressive era's philosophy of science as a problem-solver, and modeled after successful research branches of state legislatures, the LRS would provide informed answers to Congressional research inquiries on almost any topic. Library of Congress_sentence_88

In 1965, Congress passed an act allowing the Library of Congress to establish a trust fund board to accept donations and endowments, giving the library a role as a patron of the arts. Library of Congress_sentence_89

The library received the donations and endowments of prominent individuals such as John D. Rockefeller, James B. Wilbur and Archer M. Huntington. Library of Congress_sentence_90

Gertrude Clarke Whittall donated five Stradivarius violins to the library and Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge's donations paid for a concert hall within the Library of Congress building and the establishment of an honorarium for the Music Division. Library of Congress_sentence_91

A number of chairs and consultantships were established from the donations, the most well-known of which is the Poet Laureate Consultant. Library of Congress_sentence_92

The library's expansion eventually filled the library's Main Building, despite shelving expansions in 1910 and 1927, forcing the library to expand into a new structure. Library of Congress_sentence_93

Congress acquired nearby land in 1928 and approved construction of the Annex Building (later the John Adams Building) in 1930. Library of Congress_sentence_94

Although delayed during the Depression years, it was completed in 1938 and opened to the public in 1939. Library of Congress_sentence_95

1939–present: Modern history Library of Congress_section_5

When Putnam retired in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed Archibald MacLeish as his successor. Library of Congress_sentence_96

Occupying the post from 1939 to 1944 during the height of World War II, MacLeish became the most visible librarian of Congress in the library's history. Library of Congress_sentence_97

MacLeish encouraged librarians to oppose totalitarianism on behalf of democracy; dedicated the South Reading Room of the Adams Building to Thomas Jefferson, commissioning artist Ezra Winter to paint four themed murals for the room; and established a "democracy alcove" in the Main Reading Room of the Jefferson Building for important documents such as the Declaration, Constitution and The Federalist Papers. Library of Congress_sentence_98

The Library of Congress even assisted during the war effort, ranging from the storage of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution in Fort Knox for safekeeping to researching weather data on the Himalayas for Air Force pilots. Library of Congress_sentence_99

MacLeish resigned in 1944 to become Assistant Secretary of State, and President Harry Truman appointed Luther H. Evans as librarian of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_100

Evans, who served until 1953, expanded the library's acquisitions, cataloging and bibliographic services as much as the fiscal-minded Congress would allow, but his primary achievement was the creation of Library of Congress Missions around the world. Library of Congress_sentence_101

Missions played a variety of roles in the postwar world: the mission in San Francisco assisted participants in the meeting that established the United Nations, the mission in Europe acquired European publications for the Library of Congress and other American libraries, and the mission in Japan aided in the creation of the National Diet Library. Library of Congress_sentence_102

Evans' successor Lawrence Quincy Mumford took over in 1953. Library of Congress_sentence_103

Mumford's tenure, lasting until 1974, saw the initiation of the construction of the James Madison Memorial Building, the third Library of Congress building. Library of Congress_sentence_104

Mumford directed the library during a period of increased educational spending, the windfall of which allowed the library to devote energies towards establishing new acquisition centers abroad, including in Cairo and New Delhi. Library of Congress_sentence_105

In 1967, the library began experimenting with book preservation techniques through a Preservation Office, which grew to become the largest library research and conservation effort in the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_106

Mumford's administration also saw the last major public debate about the Library of Congress' role as both a legislative library and a national library. Library of Congress_sentence_107

A 1962 memorandum by Douglas Bryant of the Harvard University Library, compiled at the request of Joint Library Committee chairman Claiborne Pell, proposed a number of institutional reforms, including expansion of national activities and services and various organizational changes, all of which would shift the library more towards its national role over its legislative role. Library of Congress_sentence_108

Bryant even suggested possibly changing the name of the Library of Congress, which was rebuked by Mumford as "unspeakable violence to tradition". Library of Congress_sentence_109

Debate continued within the library community until the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 shifted the library back towards its legislative roles, placing greater focus on research for Congress and congressional committees and renaming the Legislative Reference Service to the Congressional Research Service. Library of Congress_sentence_110

After Mumford retired in 1974, Gerald Ford appointed Daniel J. Boorstin as librarian. Library of Congress_sentence_111

Boorstin's first challenge was the move to the new Madison Building, which took place between 1980 and 1982. Library of Congress_sentence_112

The move released pressures on staff and shelf space, allowing Boorstin to focus on other areas of library administration such as acquisitions and collections. Library of Congress_sentence_113

Taking advantage of steady budgetary growth, from $116 million in 1975 to over $250 million by 1987, Boorstin actively participated in enhancing ties with scholars, authors, publishers, cultural leaders, and the business community. Library of Congress_sentence_114

His active and prolific role changed the post of librarian of Congress so that by the time he retired in 1987, The New York Times called it "perhaps the leading intellectual public position in the nation". Library of Congress_sentence_115

President Ronald Reagan nominated James H. Billington as the 13th librarian of Congress in 1987, and the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed the appointment. Library of Congress_sentence_116

Under Billington's leadership, the library doubled the size of its analog collections from 85.5 million items in 1987 to more than 160 million items in 2014. Library of Congress_sentence_117

At the same time, it established new programs and employed new technologies to, "get the champagne out of the bottle". Library of Congress_sentence_118

These included: Library of Congress_sentence_119

Library of Congress_unordered_list_0

  • American Memory created in 1990, which became The National Digital Library in 1994, providing free access online to digitized American history and culture resources with curatorial explanations for K-12 education.Library of Congress_item_0_0
  • website launched in 1994 to provide free public access to U.S. federal legislative information with ongoing updates; and website to provide a state-of-the-art framework for both Congress and the public in 2012;Library of Congress_item_0_1
  • The National Book Festival, founded in 2000 with Laura Bush, has brought more than 1000 authors and a million guests to the National Mall and the Washington Convention Center to celebrate reading. With a major gift from David Rubenstein in 2013, the library also established the Library of Congress Literacy Awards to recognize and support achievements in improving literacy in the U.S. and abroad;Library of Congress_item_0_2
  • The Kluge Center, started with a grant of $60 million from John W. Kluge in 2000 to bring scholars and researchers from around the world to use library resources and to interact with policymakers and the public. It hosts public lectures and scholarly events, provides endowed Kluge fellowships, and awards The Kluge Prize for the Study of Humanity (now worth $1.5 million), the first Nobel-level international prize for lifetime achievement in the humanities and social sciences (subjects not included in the Nobel awards);Library of Congress_item_0_3
  • Open World Leadership Center, established in 2000, administered 23,000 professional exchanges for emerging post-Soviet leaders in Russia, Ukraine, and the other successor states of the former USSR by 2015. Open World began as a Library of Congress project, and later became an independent agency in the legislative branch.Library of Congress_item_0_4
  • The Veterans History Project, congressionally mandated in 2000 to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans from WWI to the present day;Library of Congress_item_0_5
  • The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, which opened in 2007 at a 45-acre site in Culpeper, Virginia with the largest private gift ever made to the library (more than $150 million by the Packard Humanities Institute) and $82.1 million additional support from Congress. In 1988, the library also established the National Film Preservation Board, a congressionally mandated National Film Preservation Board to select American films annually for preservation and inclusion in the new National Registry, a collection of American films the library has made available on the Internet for free streaming. By 2015, the librarian had named 650 films to the registry. The films in the collection date from the earliest to ones produced more than ten years ago and they are selected from nominations submitted to the board.Library of Congress_item_0_6
  • The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, launched in 2007 to honor the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in song composition. Winners have included Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel, and just-named Willie Nelson for November 2015. The library also launched the Living Legend Awards in 2000 to honor artists, activists, filmmakers, and others who have contributed to America's diverse cultural, scientific, and social heritage;Library of Congress_item_0_7
  • The Fiction Prize (now the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction) started in 2008 to recognize distinguished lifetime achievement in the writing of fiction.Library of Congress_item_0_8
  • The World Digital Library, established in association with UNESCO and 181 partners in 81 countries in 2009, to make online copies of professionally curated primary materials of the world's varied cultures freely available in multiple languages.Library of Congress_item_0_9
  • National Jukebox launched in 2011 to provide streaming free online access to more than 10,000 out-of-print music and spoken word recordings.Library of Congress_item_0_10
  • BARD in 2013, digital talking books mobile app for Braille and Audio Reading Downloads in partnership with the library's National Library Service for the blind and physically handicapped, that enables free downloads of audio and Braille books to mobile devices via the Apple App Store.Library of Congress_item_0_11

During Billington's tenure as the 13th librarian of Congress, the library acquired Lafayette's previously inaccessible papers in 1996 from a castle at La Grange, France; and the only copy of the 1507 Waldseemüller world map ("America's birth certificate") in 2003 for permanent display in the library's Thomas Jefferson Building. Library of Congress_sentence_120

Using privately raised funds, the Library of Congress reconstructed Thomas Jefferson's original library, which was placed on permanent display in the Jefferson building in 2008. Library of Congress_sentence_121

Billington also enlarged and technologically enhanced public spaces of the Jefferson Building into a national exhibition venue, and hosted over 100 exhibitions. Library of Congress_sentence_122

These included exhibits on the Vatican Library and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, several on the Civil War and Lincoln, on African-American culture, on Religion and the founding of the American Republic, the Early Americas (the Kislak Collection became a permanent display), on the global celebration commemorating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and on early American printing featuring the Rubenstein Bay Psalm Book. Library of Congress_sentence_123

Onsite access to the Library of Congress was also increased when Billington advocated successfully for an underground connection between the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center and the library in 2008 to increase congressional usage and public tours of the library's Thomas Jefferson Building. Library of Congress_sentence_124

Under Billington, the library launched a mass deacidification program in 2001, which has extended the lifespan of almost 4 million volumes and 12 million manuscript sheets; and new collection storage modules at Fort Meade, the first opening in 2002, to preserve and make accessible more than 4 million items from the library's analog collections. Library of Congress_sentence_125

Billington established the Library Collections Security Oversight Committee in 1992 to improve protection of collections, and also the Library of Congress Congressional Caucus in 2008 to draw attention to the library's curators and collections. Library of Congress_sentence_126

He created the library's first Young Readers Center in the Jefferson Building in 2009, and the first large-scale summer intern (Junior Fellows) program for university students in 1991. Library of Congress_sentence_127

Under Billington, the library also sponsored the Gateway to Knowledge in 2010–2011, a mobile exhibition to 90 sites covering all states east of the Mississippi in a specially designed 18-wheel truck, increasing public access to library collections off-site, particularly for rural populations. Library of Congress_sentence_128

Billington raised more than half a billion dollars of private support to supplement Congressional appropriations for library collections, programs, and digital outreach. Library of Congress_sentence_129

These private funds helped the library to continue its growth and outreach in the face of a 30% decrease in staffing caused mainly by legislative appropriations cutbacks. Library of Congress_sentence_130

He created the library's first development office for private fundraising in 1987, and, in 1990, established the James Madison Council, the library's first national private sector donor-support group. Library of Congress_sentence_131

In 1987, Billington also asked the GAO to conduct the first library-wide audit, and he created the first Office of the Inspector General at the library to provide regular independent review of library operations. Library of Congress_sentence_132

This precedent led to regular annual financial audits, leading to unmodified ("clean") opinions from 1995 onwards. Library of Congress_sentence_133

In April 2010, it announced plans to archive all public communication on Twitter, including all communication since Twitter's launch in March 2006. Library of Congress_sentence_134

As of 2015, the Twitter archive remains unfinished. Library of Congress_sentence_135

Before retiring in 2015, after 28 years of service, Billington had come "under pressure" as librarian of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_136

This followed a Government Accountability Office report which revealed a "work environment lacking central oversight" and faulted Billington for "ignoring repeated calls to hire a chief information officer, as required by law." Library of Congress_sentence_137

When Billington announced his plans to retire in 2015, commentator George Weigel described the Library of Congress as "one of the last refuges in Washington of serious bipartisanship and calm, considered conversation," and "one of the world's greatest cultural centers." Library of Congress_sentence_138

Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position. Library of Congress_sentence_139

In 2017, the library announced the Librarian-in-Residence program which aims to support the future generation of librarians by giving them opportunity to gain work experience in five different areas of librarianship including: Acquisitions/Collection Development, Cataloging/Metadata, and Collection Preservation. Library of Congress_sentence_140

Holdings Library of Congress_section_6

The collections of the Library of Congress include more than 32 million catalogued books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 61 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, a Gutenberg Bible (originating from the Saint Blaise Abbey, Black Forest) (one of only three perfect vellum copies known to exist); over 1 million U.S. Library of Congress_sentence_141 government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; U.S. and foreign comic books--over 12,000 titles in all, totaling more than 140,000 issues; films; 5.3 million maps; 6 million works of sheet music; 3 million sound recordings; more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images including fine and popular art pieces and architectural drawings; the Betts Stradivarius; and the Cassavetti Stradivarius. Library of Congress_sentence_142

The library developed a system of book classification called Library of Congress Classification (LCC), which is used by most US research and university libraries. Library of Congress_sentence_143

The library serves as a legal repository for copyright protection and copyright registration, and as the base for the United States Copyright Office. Library of Congress_sentence_144

Regardless of whether they register their copyright, all publishers are required to submit two complete copies of their published works to the library—this requirement is known as mandatory deposit. Library of Congress_sentence_145

Nearly 15,000 new items published in the U.S. arrive every business day at the library. Library of Congress_sentence_146

Contrary to popular belief, however, the library does not retain all of these works in its permanent collection, although it does add an average of 12,000 items per day. Library of Congress_sentence_147

Rejected items are used in trades with other libraries around the world, distributed to federal agencies, or donated to schools, communities, and other organizations within the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_148

As is true of many similar libraries, the Library of Congress retains copies of every publication in the English language that is deemed significant. Library of Congress_sentence_149

The Library of Congress states that its collection fills about 838 miles (1,349 km) of bookshelves, while the British Library reports about 388 miles (624 km) of shelves. Library of Congress_sentence_150

The Library of Congress holds more than 167 million items with more than 39 million books and other print materials, against approximately 150 million items with 25 million books for the British Library. Library of Congress_sentence_151

A 2000 study by information scientists Peter Lyman and Hal Varian suggested that the amount of uncompressed represented by the 26 million books then in the collection was 10 terabytes. Library of Congress_sentence_152

The library also administers the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, an audio book and braille library program provided to more than 766,000 Americans. Library of Congress_sentence_153

Digitization Library of Congress_section_7

The library's first digitization project was called "American Memory." Library of Congress_sentence_154

Launched in 1990, it initially planned to choose 160 million objects from its collection to make digitally available on laserdiscs and CDs that would be distributed to schools and libraries. Library of Congress_sentence_155

After realizing that this plan would be too expensive and inefficient, and with the rise of the Internet, the library decided to instead make digitized material available over the Internet. Library of Congress_sentence_156

This project was made official in the National Digital Library Program (NDLP), created in October 1994. Library of Congress_sentence_157

By 1999, the NDLP had succeeded in digitizing over 5 million objects and had a budget of $12 million. Library of Congress_sentence_158

The library has kept the "American Memory" name for its public domain website, which today contains 15 million digital objects, comprising over 7 petabytes. Library of Congress_sentence_159

American Memory is a source for public domain image resources, as well as audio, video, and archived Web content. Library of Congress_sentence_160

Nearly all of the lists of holdings, the catalogs of the library, can be consulted directly on its web site. Library of Congress_sentence_161

Librarians all over the world consult these catalogs, through the Web or through other media better suited to their needs, when they need to catalog for their collection a book published in the United States. Library of Congress_sentence_162

They use the Library of Congress Control Number to make sure of the exact identity of the book. Library of Congress_sentence_163

Digital images are also available at Snapshots of the Past, which provides archival prints. Library of Congress_sentence_164

The library has a budget of between $6–8 million each year for digitization, meaning that not all works can be digitized. Library of Congress_sentence_165

It makes determinations about what objects to prioritize based on what is especially important to Congress or potentially interesting for the public. Library of Congress_sentence_166

The 15 million digitized items represent less than 10% of the library's total 160-million item collection. Library of Congress_sentence_167

The library has chosen not to participate in other digital library projects such as Google Books and the Digital Public Library of America, although it has supported the Internet Archive project. Library of Congress_sentence_168

THOMAS and projects Library of Congress_section_8

In 1995, the Library of Congress established online archive of the proceedings of the U.S. Library of Congress_sentence_169 Congress, THOMAS. Library of Congress_sentence_170

The THOMAS website included the full text of proposed legislation, as well as bill summaries and statuses, Congressional Record text, and the Congressional Record Index. Library of Congress_sentence_171

The THOMAS system received major updates in 2005 and 2010. Library of Congress_sentence_172

A migration to a more modernized Web system,, began in 2012, and the THOMAS system was retired in 2016. Library of Congress_sentence_173 is a joint project of the Library of Congress, the House, the Senate and the Government Publishing Office. Library of Congress_sentence_174

Library of Congress buildings Library of Congress_section_9

The Library of Congress is physically housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill and a conservation center in rural Virginia. Library of Congress_sentence_175

The library's Capitol Hill buildings are all connected by underground passageways, so that a library user need pass through security only once in a single visit. Library of Congress_sentence_176

The library also has off-site storage facilities for less commonly requested materials. Library of Congress_sentence_177

Thomas Jefferson Building Library of Congress_section_10

Main article: Thomas Jefferson Building Library of Congress_sentence_178

The Thomas Jefferson Building is located between [[Independence_Avenue_(Washington,_D.C. Library of Congress_sentence_179

)|Independence Avenue]] and East Capitol Street on First Street SE. Library of Congress_sentence_180

It first opened in 1897 as the main building of the library and is the oldest of the three buildings. Library of Congress_sentence_181

Known originally as the Library of Congress Building or Main Building, it took its present name on June 13, 1980. Library of Congress_sentence_182

John Adams Building Library of Congress_section_11

Main article: John Adams Building Library of Congress_sentence_183

The John Adams Building is located between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street on 2nd Street SE, the block adjacent to the Jefferson Building. Library of Congress_sentence_184

The building was originally known as The Annex to the Main Building, which had run out of space. Library of Congress_sentence_185

It opened its doors to the public January 3, 1939. Library of Congress_sentence_186

James Madison Memorial Building Library of Congress_section_12

Main article: James Madison Memorial Building Library of Congress_sentence_187

The James Madison Memorial Building is located between First and Second Streets on Independence Avenue SE. Library of Congress_sentence_188

The building was constructed from 1971 to 1976, and serves as the official memorial to President James Madison. Library of Congress_sentence_189

The Madison Building is also home to the Mary Pickford Theater, the "motion picture and television reading room" of the Library of Congress. Library of Congress_sentence_190

The theater hosts regular free screenings of classic and contemporary movies and television shows. Library of Congress_sentence_191

Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation Library of Congress_section_13

Main article: National Audio-Visual Conservation Center Library of Congress_sentence_192

The Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation is the Library of Congress's newest building, opened in 2007 and located in Culpeper, Virginia. Library of Congress_sentence_193

It was constructed out of a former Federal Reserve storage center and Cold War bunker. Library of Congress_sentence_194

The campus is designed to act as a single site to store all of the library's movie, television, and sound collections. Library of Congress_sentence_195

It is named to honor David Woodley Packard, whose Packard Humanities Institute oversaw design and construction of the facility. Library of Congress_sentence_196

The centerpiece of the complex is a reproduction Art Deco movie theater that presents free movie screenings to the public on a semi-weekly basis. Library of Congress_sentence_197

Digital Millennium Copyright Act Library of Congress_section_14

Main article: Digital Millennium Copyright Act Library of Congress_sentence_198

See also: Librarian of Congress and Register of Copyrights Library of Congress_sentence_199

The Library of Congress, through both the librarian of Congress and the Register of Copyrights, is responsible for authorizing exceptions to of Title 17 of the United States Code as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Library of Congress_sentence_200

This process is done every three years, with the Register receiving proposals from the public and acting as an advisor to the librarian, who issues a ruling on what is exempt. Library of Congress_sentence_201

After three years have passed, the ruling is no longer valid and a new ruling on exemptions must be made. Library of Congress_sentence_202

Access Library of Congress_section_15

The library is open for academic research to anyone with a Reader Identification Card. Library of Congress_sentence_203

One may not remove library items from the reading rooms or the library buildings. Library of Congress_sentence_204

Most of the library's general collection of books and journals are in the closed stacks of the Jefferson and Adams Buildings; specialized collections of books and other materials are in closed stacks in all three main library buildings, or are stored off-site. Library of Congress_sentence_205

Access to the closed stacks is not permitted under any circumstances, except to authorized library staff, and occasionally, to dignitaries. Library of Congress_sentence_206

Only the reading room reference collections are on open shelves. Library of Congress_sentence_207

Since 1902, American libraries have been able to request books and other items through interlibrary loan from the Library of Congress if these items are not readily available elsewhere. Library of Congress_sentence_208

Through this system, the Library of Congress has served as a "library of last resort", according to former librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam. Library of Congress_sentence_209

The Library of Congress lends books to other libraries with the stipulation that they be used only inside the borrowing library. Library of Congress_sentence_210

Standards Library of Congress_section_16

In addition to its library services, the Library of Congress is also actively involved in various standard activities in areas related to bibliographical and search and retrieve standards. Library of Congress_sentence_211

Areas of work include MARC standards, Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS), Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), Z39.50 and Search/Retrieve Web Service (SRW), and Search/Retrieve via URL (SRU). Library of Congress_sentence_212

The Law Library of Congress seeks to further legal scholarship by providing opportunities for scholars and practitioners to conduct significant legal research. Library of Congress_sentence_213

Individuals are invited to apply for projects which would further the multi-faceted mission of the law library in serving the U.S. Congress, other governmental agencies, and the public. Library of Congress_sentence_214

Annual events Library of Congress_section_17

Library of Congress_unordered_list_1

Notable personnel Library of Congress_section_18

See also: Librarian of Congress Library of Congress_sentence_215

Library of Congress_unordered_list_2

  • Cecil Hobbs (1943–1971): American scholar of Southeast Asian history, head of the Southern Asia Section of the Orientalia (now Asian) Division of the Library of Congress, a major contributor to scholarship on Asia and the development of South East Asian coverage in American library collectionsLibrary of Congress_item_2_18

See also Library of Congress_section_19

Library of Congress_unordered_list_3

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: of Congress.