The Library of Congress Essay

2968 Words Oct 1st, 1999 12 Pages
<b>HISTORY</b><br>The Library of congress was established by an act of congress on April 24, 1800. It was originally housed in the United States capitol. The collection, which stared out small at 740 volumes, slowly increased to over 3,000 volumes by 1814. That year, though, the British along with the capitol burned those books during the assault on Washington.<br><br>To rapidly replace the collection, Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library to congress at no cost, describing the nature of his books like so: "I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from the collections; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer." This changed the …show more content…
The new room was in use on August 17, 1824. On December 22, 1825, a fire started by a candle left flaming in the gallery was controlled before it could cause crucial damage. Examinations into "fireproofing" the room concluded that the cost would be too big. In 1832 an individual "apartment" was made for the law collection. <br><br>On Christmas Eve, 1851, the Library of Congress suffered a catastrophic fire. More or less thirty-five thousand of its fifty-five thousand volumes were ruined in the inferno, which as caused by a defective chimney flue. Designer of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter offered a plan, approved by Congress, to fix and make the Library room bigger using incombustible materials all through. The sophisticatedly restored Library room was opened on August 23, 1853. Called by the press the "largest iron room in the world," it was surrounded by galleries and overflowing the west central front of the Capitol. A month previous to the opening, Pres. Franklin Pierce examined the new Library in the companionship of British scientist Sir Charles Lyell, who proclaimed it "the most beautiful room in the world." <br><br>In 1865, Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford got a hold of consent for increasing the Library by adding two new flameproof divisions. As I said earlier, the copyright law of 1870 brought two

Related Documents