Saturday, 31 July 2010

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the de facto national library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress. Located in Washington, D.C., it is the largest by shelf space and one of the most important libraries in the world. Its collections include more than 30 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including a Gutenberg Bible over 1 million US Government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; over 6,000 comic book[3] titles; the world's largest collection of legal materials; films; 4.8 million maps; sheet music; and 2.7 million sound recordings. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress.

The Guinness Book of World Records currently lists the Library of Congress as the "World's Largest Library".

This apparently is based on the shelf space the collection occupies; the Library of Congress states that its collection fills about 530 miles (850 km), while the British Library, reports about 388 miles (625 km) of shelves. The Library of Congress holds about 130 million items with 29 million books against approximately 150 million items with 25 million books for the British Library.
Architect: John L. Smithmeyer, FAIA, and Paul J. Pelz, FAIA
Location: Washington, DC
Date: 1897
Style: NeoClassical
Construction: Stone (Limestone clad)
Type: Government Library

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