The Library Of Congress
The Library of congress was established by an act of congress on April 24, 1800. It was originally housed in the United States capitol. The collection, which stared out small at 740 volumes, slowly increased to over 3,000 volumes by 1814. That year, though, the British along with the capitol burned those books during the assault on Washington.
To rapidly replace the collection, Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library to congress at no cost, describing the nature of his books like so: “I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from the collections; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer.” This changed the library from a tiny legislative workplace to the largest national institute that it was about to become.
Jeffersons more or less 6,500 volumes formed the heart of the library, and grew speedily in the nineteenth century. The new copyright law of 1870 demanded that two copies of every single book copyrighted had to be given to the library in order to receive protection. The flood of material that resulted forced the construction of a new building that opened in 1897.
A new age for the library was guided by the opening of the Jefferson building and The Main Reading room. Special format collections were separated from the book collections and the readers could access them in different locations of the library. Some of these format collections were maps, prints, music, and manuscripts. The continued growth of the librarys collection required two new buildings at the location of the library, Capitol Hill. These two new buildings were the Adams building, built in 1939, and the Madison building, built in 1980. Even though these new libraries were opened, the Main reading room stayed the central point of access for the libraries collections. Most people, weather they are doing specialized or general work will start in the main reading room. That reason is because the main reading room has the Computer Catalog Center, The main card catalog, and about 70,000 volumes in the reference section.
Up-to-date information is maintained mostly by technology. The computer catalog gives a lot of information of the libraries collections, information of Congressional legislation, selective indexing of periodical articles, and PCs around the library provides access to a large variety of reference database in an electronic format.
The law that created the library of congress said it was necessary for the books to be housed in a suitable environment in the Capitol. The only wing of the capitol finished in 1800 was the north wing, so the books that were received for the library were put in the office of the Clerk of the Senate. A temporary structure was built in 1801 for the use of the House of Representatives. The act of January 26, 1802 provided the move of the library into the room in the north wing, which had been occupied by the House. The library remained here until December of 1805.
The Library of Congress occupied various spaces in the Capitol building between 1806 and August 24, 1814, when the British burned the Capitol and the Library. On January 30, 1815 Thomas Jefferson’s library was purchased by Congress to “recommence” its library, and a law approved on March 3, 1815, authorized the preparation of “a proper apartment” for the books. Blodget’s Hotel at 7th and E Streets was serving as the temporary Capitol, and a room on its third floor became the new location of the Library of Congress. Here Jefferson’s books were received and organized by Librarian of Congress George Watterston. On February 18, 1817, Library Committee chairman Eligius Fromentin, a senator from Louisiana, introduced a resolution advocating a separate building for the Library, but it failed. In late 1818, however, funds were appropriated to move the Library back into the Capitol.
The new quarters in the attic story of the Capitol’s north wing confirmed not enough. In January 1818 Charles Bulfinch became Designer of the Capitol and he soon developed a strategy for a roomy library room in the middle of the west front of the Capitol. The new room was in use on August 17, 1824. On December 22, 1825, a fire started by a candle left flaming in the gallery was controlled before it could cause crucial damage. Examinations into fireproofing the room concluded that the cost would be too big. In 1832 an individual “apartment” was made for the law collection.
On Christmas Eve, 1851, the Library of Congress suffered a catastrophic fire. More or less thirty-five thousand of its fifty-five thousand volumes were ruined in the inferno, which as caused by a defective chimney flue. Designer of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter offered a plan, approved by Congress, to fix and make the Library room bigger using incombustible materials all through. The sophisticatedly restored Library room was opened on August 23, 1853. Called by the press the “largest iron room in the world,” it was surrounded by galleries and overflowing the west central front of the Capitol. A month previous to the opening, Pres. Franklin Pierce examined the new Library in the companionship of British scientist Sir Charles Lyell, who proclaimed it “the most beautiful room in the world.”
In 1865, Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford got a hold of consent for increasing the Library by adding two new flameproof divisions. As I said earlier, the copyright law of 1870 brought two copies of all copyright items to the Library, nevertheless, and it instantly became obvious to Librarian Spofford that the Library would soon run out of room. He recommended an individual structure and, in 1872 proposed a scheme to Congress for such a building. In 1875, he told the Congress that the Library had worn out all shelf space and that “books are now, from sheer force of necessity, being piled on the floor in all directions.” Unless Congress obtained rapid action on the question of a separate structure its Librarian would soon be placed “in the unhappy predicament of presiding over the greatest chaos in America.”
The first separate Library of Congress Building, the Jefferson Building, was suggested by Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford in 1871, authorized in 1886, and completed in 1897. When its doors were opened to the public on November 1, 1897, it represented a supreme nationwide accomplishment: its 23-carat gold-plated dome capped the “largest, costliest, and safest” library structure in the world. Its highly decked out front wall and center, for which more than forty American artists and sculptors could outshine European libraries in magnificence and loyalty to classical civilization. A modern guidebook bragged: “America is justly proud of this gorgeous and palatial monument to its National sympathy and appreciation of Literature, Science, and Art. It has been designed and executed entirely by American art and American labor (and is) a fitting tribute for the great thoughts of generations past, present, and to be.” This new national Temple of the Arts instantly met with irresistible support from the American public.
Known as the Library of Congress (or Main) Building until it was named for Thomas Jefferson, the Library’s main creator, in 1980, the building was built exclusively to serve as the American national library, and its structural design and beautification state and add to that reason. A nationwide library for the United States was the vision and goal of Librarian Spofford; the new structure was a critical step in his accomplishment. It was a useful, modern building as well as a Temple of the Arts, using the newest technology all the way through.
The Jefferson Building is a daring location for a national institute. Today it is normally documented as an exclusive combination of art and architecture, a building that celebrated the universality of information and represents American turn-of-the- century hopefulness. The complex exaggeration of its interior is worth careful concentration, for a few buildings represents human idea and ambition in such theatrical way.
The Adams Building
In 1928, at the influence of Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, Congress certified the purchase of land directly east of the Library’s Main Building for the building of an Annex Building. In 1930, $6,500,000 was appropriated for its production, for a passageway linking it to the Main Building, and for particular changes in the east front of the Main Building, as well as the building of the Rare Book Room. An extra misuse in 1935 brought the total specification of finances to cover $8 million. The simple classical building was intentional, fundamentally, as a useful and well-organized book stack “encircled with work spaces.” It was designed by the Washington architectural organization of Pierson & Wilson with Alexander Buel Trowbridge as a consulting designer. The contract was completed by June 24, 1938, but the structure was not ready for use until December 2, 1938. The move of the Card Division started on December 12, and it opened its doors for production to the public in the new building on January 3, 1939.
On April 13, 1976, in a service at the Jefferson Memorial marking the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, President Ford signed into law the act to alter the name of the Library of Congress Annex Building to the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. In 1980, the building got a hold of its current name, which honors John Adams, the man of letters and president of the United States who in 1800 permitted the law establishing the Library of Congress.
The James Madison Memorial Building
In 1957, Librarian of Congress L. Quincy Mumford started studies for a 3rd Library structure. Congress allowed preparation of funds for that building, today’s James Madison Memorial Building, in 1960 and building was certified in 1965. The foundation stone was laid in 1974 and Pres. Ronald Reagan participated in devotion services on November 20, 1981, when the structure was finished. The structure serves both as the Library’s third major building and as this nation’s authorized monument to James Madison, the “father” of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the 4th president of the United States.
That a chief Library of Congress structure should also become a monument to James Madison is right, for the institute’s debt to him is significant. In 1783, as a part of the Continental Congress by proposing a list of books that would be helpful to legislators, an attempt that pave the way by 17 years the founding of the Library of Congress. In 1815, Madison was president of the United States and a eager spectator when the library of his close personal buddy and coworker, Thomas Jefferson, became the base of a progressive statesman who supposed the power of intelligence was necessary for individual liberty and independent government.
Every Single researcher that wants to use a public reading room in the library of congress is required to have a Reader identification card. Reader identification cards are issued by the library, and are free. To get a card, all you have to do is present a valid drivers license, passport, or a state issued identification card at the Reader Registration station located in the Madison building.
There is a very simple self-registration process. The station attendant checks the information, takes an identification photo, and then they will issue you your printed plastic card.
The library cards are good for up to two years, and they have to be renewed as soon as they expire. By using the card, it makes it possible for researchers to obtain materials from the librarys collection much easier. The reason for this is because researchers only have to write their identification card number on each slip instead of their full name and address.
One of the important components in the library security program is the reader registration procedure, because it is part of a larger plan to protect the librarys collections. This plan was initiated by James H. Billington, a librarian of congress in March of 1992. Some other components of that plan include sealed stacks, surveillance cameras, electronic control of stack doors, and the installation of theft detection targets and detection gates.
Any citizen of the United States over high school age with a photo-identification is eligible for a reader identification card. High school students will not be allowed to use the library unless they meet all of the three following circumstances;
They have used every single reference they could have used that is open to the public, and this is the only one left, that contains the information or resources they need.
They have a letter from their principal describing in detail their project and the specific materials they need to use. On the other hand, having a principal’s letter does not assure the student right to use the Library.
A reference librarian, who makes the final determination as to whether or not the students project requires use of the Librarys collections, interviews them.
In almost every case, using local libraries can usually finish high school projects. The library of congress persuades high school students to use these resources in their research.
The librarys main mission is to make resources accessible and helpful to the congress and the American people, and to maintain and protect a worldwide selection of information and originality for our future generations.
1. THE FIRST PRIORITY of the Library of Congress is to make information and creativity accessible to the United States Congress. The Congress is the legislative group of the United States. As the depository of a worldwide collection of human knowledge and the ingenious work of the American citizens, the Library has the main task to make this data obtainable and to distinguish, evaluate and synthesize the information it contains to make it useful to the lawmakers who are the elected representatives of the American people.
2. THE SECOND PRIORITY of the Library of Congress is to acquire, organize, preserve, secure and sustain for the present and future use of the Congress and the nation:
A. A complete documentation of American history and ingenuity; The documentation of American history and ingenuity has to be preserved in order to carry out the mandates, which are double: to defend academic property rights
B. A worldwide collection of human knowledge. A worldwide collected works is necessary to meet the current and possible requirements of the Congress and of the government more broadly. Each and every other service and activity of the Library of Congress provide for the core mission of maintaining and continuing to construct on the world’s utmost reserves of recorded human intelligence. The collections have to persist to be comprehensive in order to keep up with the quick production of information. The Library of Congress is the only library on Earth that collects across the globe. If this traditional custom is done away with then the Federal government and the American uncontrolled enterprise organization will be the inferior from it.
3. THE THIRD PRIORITY of the Library of Congress is to make its collections totally available to
A. The Congress;
B. The U. S. government more broadly;
C. The public.
4. THE FOURTH PRIORITY is to put in interpretive and enlightening importance to the fundamental resources of the Library in order to improve the excellence of the ingenious work and academic pursuit resulting from these resources, and to emphasize the significance of the Library’s contributions to the nation’s happiness and upcoming development.
Understood in the large and global completeness of the Library’s consumers is an additional idea of American the democratic system: the desire to encourage the free exchange of thoughts.
There are three vital aspects to this main concern that are exclusively accessible because of the Library of Congress:
A. Greater use by the Congress, government officials, and the private sector of the vast special (i.e., non-book) and foreign language collections that are unique to the Library and that have generally been underused resources.
B. Greater use of the Library’s Capitol Hill facilities by scholars for the kind of interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, multimedia, multilingual, and synthetic writing that is important to Congressional deliberation and national policy-making, but inadequately encouraged both by special interest groups and by advocacy-oriented think tanks; and
C. Greater use by the general public through programs that stimulate interest, increase knowledge, and encourage more citizens to use the collections on-site and electronically.
The Library employees will add their position as information guides by helping more people find appropriate materials in a swelling sea of unsorted information and directing them to services and resources exclusive to the Library of Congress. This requires not only more growth of employees that the Library has formerly had, but also making it easier in new ways more wide-ranging and systematic use by researchers of the distinctive materials that only the Library of Congress has. Courses for the common public, such as displays or publications, must display the importance and value of the collections.