Saturday, June 27, 2015

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress of the USA, regarded today as the national library of the USA. Its vast collections constitute an unparalleled treasure of the American democratic experience.

It was established as a legislative library it grew into a national institution in the nineteenth century product of US cultural nationalism. In 1800 President Thomas Jefferson proposed that Congress create a congressional library for its own used.

Congress promptly authorized the creation of the library and on April 24, 1800, allocated $5,000 for books as part of the legislation to pay for moving the federal capital from Philadelphia to Washington DC.

The first book for the Library were ordered from London booksellers Cadell & Davies and shipped across the Atlantic in 1801 in 11 trunks and a map case.

They were housed in a room in the Capitol until August 1814, when British troops set fire to the building.

President Jefferson appointed John Beckley as the first librarian of Congress in 1802. By 1813 the library owned some 4000 volumes mostly on legal topics.

Since 1950, it has become an international resource of unparalleled dimension, collecting research materials in most languages and formats.

Today, with an annual government appropriation of more than $550 million, a staff of 3,224, multimedia collections more than 120 million items, it is one of the world’s leading research and cultural institution.

Library of Congress services extend not only to members of Congress, but also to members of the executive and judicial branches of the government, to libraries through the world, and to individuals scholars, researchers, artist and scientist who use its resources.
Library of Congress

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