Library of Congress

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Library of Congress

Library of Congress, national library of the United States, Washington, D.C., est. 1800. It occcupies three buildings on Capitol Hill: The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897), the John Adams Building (1938), and the James Madison Building (1981).

Thomas Jefferson while vice president was a prime mover in the creation of the library, and he supported it strongly during his presidency. In 1814, when much of the collection was destroyed by fire, Jefferson offered his own fine library to the Congress. This formed the basis of the collection until 1851, when fire destroyed some 35,000 volumes. The growth of the library progressed slowly thereafter until the passage of the Copyright Act of 1870, which required the deposit in the library of all copyright material. The acquisition in 1866 of the Smithsonian Institution's collection of 44,000 volumes and the purchase of the Peter Force collection of Americana (60,000 volumes; 1867) and the Joseph M. Toner American and Medical Library (24,000 volumes; 1892) made it one of the world's great libraries.

Originally primarily intended to serve the legislative branch of the government, it is now open to the public as a reference library and sends out many books through an interlibrary loan system. It has African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European, and Hispanic divisions; a law library; and excellent collections of manuscripts, periodicals, monographs and serials, incunabula, geography and maps, rare books, prints and photographs, motion pictures, music and recordings, sheet music, science and technology, visual materials, microforms, and computer files, representing materials in more than 450 languages.

The Library of Congress contains more than 138 million items, including about 21 million books, 5 million maps, and 61 million manuscripts. Its Online Catalog provides a database of some 12 million items from its collections. The library sells duplicate catalog entries to smaller libraries for the books it adds to its collections. It provides other vital services to libraries through its many bibliographic functions (among them maintaining the National Union Catalog of the holdings of 700 large libraries in the United States and running the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped) and its Copyright Office. The library's Poetry and Literature Center (est. 1936) is the home of the U.S. poet laureate. The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, opened in Culpeper, Va., in 2007, is the home of the library's large film and recording collection. Mainly supported by congressional appropriations, the library also has income from gifts by foundations and individuals, administered by the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board.

See studies by P. M. Angle (1958), G. Gurney (1966), M. McCloskey (1968), C. A. Goodrum (1974, rev. ed. 1982), and J. Conaway (2000).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Library of Congress
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.