On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was formally established by an act of Congress. Prior to its creation, the United States had no official national library and resources for research and education were limited.
The Library of Congress was initially established to serve as a reference Library for Congress. Still, it quickly grew to become one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive libraries. Today, the Library houses over one hundred and seventy million items, including books, manuscripts, maps, and music scores, making it the largest library in the world by collection size.
The Library of Congress also serves as the research arm of Congress, providing information and resources to legislators and their staff, as well as to scholars, researchers, and the general public. Its extensive collections are used to support research and education, and it offers a range of programs and outreach initiatives to engage audiences of all ages.
Over the years, the Library of Congress has been home to many notable acquisitions and exhibits, including the personal papers of American luminaries such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Rosa Parks, as well as historical artifacts like the Gutenberg Bible and the original draft of the Declaration of Independence.
Today, the Library of Congress continues to play a vital role in preserving and sharing knowledge and culture with the world. Its collections provide a window into America’s history and culture, and its programs and resources are available to all who seek knowledge and understanding.