Library of Congress Gets Some Books

It was today in 1800 that President John Adams signed legislation authorizing $5,000 to create a library for the Congress. Much of this would be lost in the War of 1812 and restarted with the 1815 purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.

Today the Library of Congress is one of America’s treasures, with over twenty-three million catalogued volumes, some thirteen million monographs and other printed materials, and another hundred and twenty thousand items in special collections. It is second in size only to the British Library, and more than three times the size of the third largest library, the New York Public Library.

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