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Flag of the Library of Congress
|Established||April 24, 1800|
|Location||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
23,892,068 catalogued books in the Library of Congress Classification system; 5,711 incunabula (books printed before 1500), 14,067,260 monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports, and other printed material; and 122,810,430 items in the nonclassified (special) collections:160,775,469 total Items
|Access and use|
|Circulation||Library does not publicly circulate|
|Population served||535 members of the United States Congress, their staff, and members of the public|
|Director||Carla Hayden (Librarian of Congress)|
23,892,068 catalogued books in the Library of Congress Classification system; 5,711 incunabula (books printed before 1500), 14,067,260 monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports, and other printed material; and 122,810,430 items in the nonclassified (special) collections:
The Library of Congress ("LOC") is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, which houses the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. 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. Two-thirds of the books it acquires each year are in languages other than English."
The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800, after sitting for eleven years in the temporary national capitals of New York (New York City) and Philadelphia. John J. Beckley, who became the first Librarian of Congress, was paid two dollars per day and was required to also serve as the Clerk of the House of Representatives. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814, during the War of 1812. To restore its collection in 1815, the library bought from former president Thomas Jefferson his entire personal collection of 6,487 books.
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