July 19th, 2012 – Library of Congress – Washington, DC

After we toured the Capitol Building we walked across to the Library of Congress.  Very beautiful building both inside and out.   All of the paintings and scultures are dedicated to some aspect of learning.  The next to the last picture shows one of the reading rooms.  Pretty impressive – huh?  During the tour we found out that the works of many of the people reading this blog are in this library.  How you ask?  All of the tweets that people do are recorded in the Library of Congress.  They have them so they can study the social aspects of them (or so they say).

History lesson – The Library of Congress is the research library of the U.S. Congress and the national library of the USA.  It is located in four buildings and is the largest library in the world by shelf space and number of books.   The Library of Congress was instituted for Congress in 1800, and was housed in the U.S. Capitol for most of the 19th century.  After much of the original collection was destroyed during the War of 1812 when the British burned Washington DC, Thomas Jefferson sold his entire personal collection of 6,487 books (it took him 50 years to collect it) to the library in 1815.  Unfortunately 2/3 of those books were lost in a fire in 1851.  The remaining 1/3 is in a special section of the library today.  It is pretty cool to see such old books.  The library is open to the public, but only library employees, Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials may check out books.

By the way, you are getting multiple posts for the same day because the buildings are so beautiful we had to put in a lot of pictures of each one.




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