Library of Congress (LOC; LC; The Library) (Federal Agency Profiles)
ESTABLISHED: April 24, 1800
ADDRESS: 101 Independence Ave. SE Washington, DC 20540
PHONE: (202) 707-5000
TDD (HEARING IMPAIRED): (202) 707-6200
FAX: (202) 707-9199
LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS: James H. Billington
WHAT IS ITS MISSION?
The United States Library of Congress (LOC or LC) is charged with maintaining a "universal collection of knowledge." In "The Mission and Strategic Priorities of the Library of Congress," James H. Billington states that the Library must ".. . make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and . . . sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations."
The Library's mission is similar in some ways to that of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Library's scope, however, is much larger: "universal knowledge" versus materials specific to the operations of the U.S. government. The Library further accepts the mission "to add interpretive and educational value to the basic resources of the Library in order to enhance the quality of the creative work and intellectual activity derived from...
(The entire section is 3431 words.)
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Library of Congress (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The Library of Congress, located in Washington, D.C., is the world's largest library, with nearly 110 million items in almost every language and format stored on 532 miles of bookshelves. Its collections constitute the world's most comprehensive record of human creativity and knowledge. Founded in 1800 to serve the reference needs of Congress, the library has grown from an original collection of 6,487 books to a current accumulation of more than 16 million books and more than 120 million other items and collections, from ancient Chinese wood-block prints to compact discs.
The Library of Congress was created by Act of April 24, 1800 (2 Stat. 56), which provided for the removal of the seat of government to the new capital city of Washington, D.C. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had formerly served as the nation's capital), and for $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress and for putting up a suitable apartment for containing them therein." The library was housed in the new capitol until August 1814, when British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and burned the capitol building, destroying nearly three thousand volumes of the small congressional library. The first major book collection acquired by Congress was the personal library of former president THOMAS JEFFERSON, purchased in 1815 at a cost of $23,950. In 1851 a second fire destroyed two-thirds of the...
(The entire section is 2286 words.)