Author Topic: The Library of Congress National Digital Library is MORE than just a Library!  (Read 3058 times)

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The Library of Congress National Digital Library is MORE than just a Library!

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world and the American national library, was established in 1800 to meet the research needs of Congress. While that is still our primary mission, we have expanded our services to all Americans and to researchers from around the world. As you will see, during the past 200 years, the Library of Congress has evolved into something "more than a library."

The Library was founded on April 24, 1800, with a congressional appropriation of $5,000. Until 1897, when the Thomas Jefferson Building was completed, the Library was housed in the U.S. Capitol. The final cost of the new building was $6,032,124.50, which was $150,000 less than appropriated, and that amount was returned to the Treasury. After a decade-long renovation, it reopened to the public in May 1997 and is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in America.

Today, the Library comprises three main buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and several other satellite service, storage, and collection offices. Its collections include more than 130 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 29 million cataloged books and other print materials, 2.7 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps and 58 million manuscripts.

More than 1 million people visited the Library of Congress last year, making it one of the top visitor attractions in the nation's capital.

The Library's Web site is a treasure house of free educational materials for all ages.

    * For kids, there is America's Story from America's Library.
    * Teachers will find lessons and more on The Learning Page.
    * Researchers will use our online catalog and reading room sites.
    * And, for life-long learners, there are fascinating sites such as the Wise Guide, a monthly online magazine featuring the many compelling, educational and useful resources available on the Library's Web site; our online Exhibitions site; THOMAS, for current legislative information from the U.S. Congress; the vast collections of U.S. history in American Memory; and world treasures in Global Gateway.

Since its beginning in 1994, the Library of Congress National Digital Library (NDL) Program has been the nation's premier resource for noncommercial, high- quality intellectual content on the Internet. More than 8.5 million items (as of October 2003) from the Library's collections are available to users anywhere anytime. The site, one of the federal government's most popular, handles more than two billion transactions per year.

Here, you can see such iconic items from the nation's past as Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the papers of Frederick Douglass, early baseball cards, photographs documenting the women's suffrage movement, maps from the 16th century to the present, films of Thomas Edison and sound recordings from the birth of the recording industry. 

Categories: Free Resources - Free Educational Materials - FREE Texts - FREE Photographs - FREE Audio - FREE Video - History


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