The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States of America, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in four buildings in Washington, D.C., as well as the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and number of books. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress, currently James H. Billington.
The Library of Congress was instituted for Congress in 1800, and was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century. After much of the original collection had been destroyed during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson sold 6,487 books, his entire personal collection, to the library in 1815. One of the Library buildings, (presented above) is called Thomas Jefferson Building.
|Northeast Pavilion. View of Mural and coffers in Ceiling dome. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The library is open to the general public for academic research and tourists. Only those who are issued a Reader Identification Card may enter the reading rooms and access the collection. The Reader Identification Card is available in the Madison building to persons who are at least 16 years of age upon presentation of a government issued picture identification (e.g. driver’s license, state ID card or passport). However, only members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, their staff, Library of Congress staff and certain other government officials may actually remove items from the library buildings. Members of the general public with Reader Identification Cards must use items from the library collection inside the reading rooms only; they are not allowed to remove library items from the reading rooms or the library buildings.
The Madison Building (above) is also home to the Mary Pickford Theater, the “motion picture and television reading room” of the Library of Congress. The theater hosts regular free screenings of classic and contemporary movies and television shows.
|Main reading room|
|No, these girls are not in space, they are in the library…|