#NC-15410-US - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Packs #AST-701
world's largest library, the Library of Congress, opened to the
public in 1897, contains more than 100 million items, including
every book copyrighted in the United States. Among its treasures
are the personal papers of most U.S. presidents up to Calvin Coolidge,
one of three remaining Gutenberg Bibles, Stradivarius stringed
instruments, and many rare maps, art prints, newspapers, photos
Capitol Building housed the library for nearly a century after
Congress authorized it in 1800. After British shelling destroyed
most of the original collection of 3,000 books and a few maps
during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson replenished it by selling
the government his 6,487-volume personal library for $24,000 in
by architects John L. Stithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz in the Italian
Renaissance style, the first separate Library of Congress building
opened in 1897 after over two decades of contentious planning
and construction. The 23-carat gold-plated dome epitomized Congress'
intention to outshine the grandest European libraries. Commissioned
artwork throughout the main building showcases the talents of
more than 50 American painters, sculptors and other artisans.
Yet, the Army Corps of Engineers managed to complete the building
for $200,000 less than the budgeted $6.5 million.
John Adams annex opened in 1939. In 1980, the main building was
named for Thomas Jefferson and the James Madison annex was completed.
© 1997 Terry White, Drawing © 1997 Bill Harrah