Library of Congress

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Library of Congress,

national library of the United States, Washington, D.C., est. 1800. It occcupies three buildings on Capitol Hill: The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897), the John Adams Building (1938), and the James Madison Building (1981).

Thomas Jefferson while vice president was a prime mover in the creation of the library, and he supported it strongly during his presidency. In 1814, when much of the collection was destroyed by fire, Jefferson offered his own fine library to the Congress. This formed the basis of the collection until 1851, when fire destroyed some 35,000 volumes. The growth of the library progressed slowly thereafter until the passage of the Copyright Act of 1870, which required the deposit in the library of all copyright material. The acquisition in 1866 of the Smithsonian Institution's collection of 44,000 volumes and the purchase of the Peter Force collection of Americana (60,000 volumes; 1867) and the Joseph M. Toner American and Medical Library (24,000 volumes; 1892) made it one of the world's great libraries.

Originally primarily intended to serve the legislative branch of the government, it is now open to the public as a reference library and sends out many books through an interlibrary loan system. It has African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European, and Hispanic divisions; a law library; and excellent collections of manuscripts, periodicals, monographs and serials, incunabulaincunabula
, plural of incunabulum
[Late Lat.,=cradle (books); i.e., books of the cradle days of printing], books printed in the 15th cent. The known incunabula represent about 40,000 editions.
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, geography and maps, rare books, prints and photographs, motion pictures, music and recordings, sheet music, science and technology, visual materials, microforms, and computer files, representing materials in more than 450 languages.

The Library of Congress contains more than 138 million items, including about 21 million books, 5 million maps, and 61 million manuscripts. Its Online Catalog provides a database of some 12 million items from its collections. The library sells duplicate catalog entries to smaller libraries for the books it adds to its collections. It provides other vital services to libraries through its many bibliographic functions (among them maintaining the National Union Catalog of the holdings of 700 large libraries in the United States and running the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) and its Copyright Office. The library's Poetry and Literature Center (est. 1936) is the home of the U.S. poet laureatepoet laureate
, title conferred in Britain by the monarch on a poet whose duty it is to write commemorative odes and verse. It is an outgrowth of the medieval English custom of having versifiers and minstrels in the king's retinue, and of the later royal patronage of poets, such
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. The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, opened in Culpeper, Va., in 2007, is the home of the library's large film and recording collection. Mainly supported by congressional appropriations, the library also has income from gifts by foundations and individuals, administered by the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.


See studies by P. M. Angle (1958), G. Gurney (1966), M. McCloskey (1968), C. A. Goodrum (1974, rev. ed. 1982), and J. Conaway (2000).

Congress, Library of:

see Library of CongressLibrary of Congress,
national library of the United States, Washington, D.C., est. 1800. It occcupies three buildings on Capitol Hill: The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897), the John Adams Building (1938), and the James Madison Building (1981).
..... Click the link for more information.

Library of Congress

Serves as the national library of the United States; maintains collections of manuscripts, photographs, maps and related historical documents, preserves its own building, and produces publications and exhibits. It is the repository for HABS and HAER documentation.

Library of Congress


the national library of the USA, located in Washington, D.C.; one of the largest libraries in the world. It was founded in 1800 by the Congress of the USA. It serves primarily governmental organs, research institutions, scholars, private firms, and industrial companies.

According to 1968 data, the holdings of the Library of Congress amounted to 14.5 million books and brochures, 132,000 volumes of bound newspapers, more than 29 million items of manuscript materials, 3.3 million items of musical scores, more than 3 million maps, and many other materials, including motion-picture films, phonograph records, and microfilms. The annual increase in holdings of the Library of Congress ranges from 1 to 3 million items. In content the collections are almost universal (except for foreign medical and agricultural literature, which is collected by the national medical and agricultural libraries). Most fully represented is literature on law, history, philology, politics, natural sciences, and technology, as well as reference and bibliographical publications. The Library of Congress possesses more than 5,500 incunabula, the libraries of T. Jefferson and a number of other presidents of the USA, collections of works of Chinese literature (330,000 volumes) and Japanese literature (450,000 volumes), and collections of rare American editions (60,000 volumes). In 1907 the Library of Congress acquired the library of the Krasnoiarsk merchant and bibliophile G. V. Iudin, which consists of 41,000 books and journals, mostly on Russian history. (At the present time the Library of Congress has approximately 300,000 publications in the Russian language.)

The Library of Congress has 18 reading rooms with 1,460 seats for readers. Of the bibliographical publications of the Library of Congress, the most important are The National Union Catalog, which has been published monthly since 1958, and a union catalog of books in the libraries of the USA (610 volumes).


Mearns, D. C. The Story Up to Now: The Library of Congress,1800–1946. Washington, 1947.


References in periodicals archive ?
Source: "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1998-2005," by the Congressional Research Service.
IFPTE's organizing campaign at GAO began several months ago when a group of analysts approached the president of the IFPTE local union at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) about forming an organizing committee.
According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report for Congress, The Alternative Minimum Tax for Individuals (RL30149), the effects of the legislative reductions in the regular income tax due to the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA) have caused more middle-income taxpayers to be subject to AMT.
He added that "appropriate members of Congress have been kept informed," but the Congressional Research Service studied this and concluded that Bush did not fully inform the intelligence committees and thus acted in a way "inconsistent with the law.
As far as day-to-day monitoring goes, a February 2005 Congressional Research Service report had this grim news: "At present, the federal government has little knowledge of the extent of agency expenditures on public communications.
A Congressional Research Service report notes that "of particular concern were consumption allowances for developing countries, some of which compete directly with U.
The site links more than a half-dozen existing collections of nearly 8,000 reports from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and centrally indexes them so visitors can find reports containing specific terms or phrases.
In fact, despite the current period of low interest rates, a variable-rate loan actually would have saved students money over a fixed-rate loan in 13 of the last 18 years, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Religious Right leaders insist that the measure is constitutional, but the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress that provides non-partisan research to members of Congress, said there is no precedent for a bill like it.
The Congressional Research Service reports that by 2010, with inflation and reductions in regular tax, the number of taxpayers affected by the AMT will grow to an estimated 35 million--33% of all taxpayers.
He also was a director for a life-insurance trade association, worked for a law firm and more recently worked for the Congressional Research Service as one of its insurance experts.

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