Tuesday is Books & Libraries Day at the River Houses, and today is the birthday of the Library of Congress! Every homeschool student (and citizen) in the United States should be familiar with the Library of Congress and the resources they offer to the public. Here’s the Library’s own blog post about today’s anniversary:
Today, the Library of Congress celebrates its 218th birthday. On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved an appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of [C]ongress.”
The first books purchased were ordered from London and arrived in 1801. The collection of 740 volumes and three maps was stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library’s first home. At the time, it was not yet much of a building — only its north wing had been completed.
From 1802 to 1805, the small collection was located in a room previously occupied by the House of Representatives. It was later moved to various places in the Capitol until August 24, 1814, when the British burned and destroyed the Capitol, including the Library.
To replace the loss, Thomas Jefferson in 1815 sold his personal library of 6,487 volumes — which was then unrivaled in America — to Congress. Sadly, a second fire on Christmas Eve of 1851 destroyed two-thirds of those volumes. But the Jefferson books nonetheless remain the core from which the Library’s present collections grew.
A little more than a decade later, Ainsworth Rand Spofford, Librarian of Congress from 1864 to 1897, took on the mission of transforming the fledgling Library into the nationally significant institution we know today. (blogs.loc.gov)
If you want to visit the library in person, you’ll find it in downtown Washington right next to the U.S. Capitol. (It’s the Library of Congress, after all.) 🇺🇸
If you can’t visit in person why not pay a visit online this week (loc.gov) and discover what the Library of Congress has to offer to you, your homeschool, and every American citizen.
What educational discoveries have you made at your library lately? 😊
❡ Explore more: Have you found all the local libraries in your area? The WorldCat Library Finder (worldcat.org/libraries) will help you find all the libraries in your local area — there may be more than you realize — and the WorldCat catalog itself (worldcat.org) will help you locate the nearest copy of almost any book in the world. 😊