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Friday, January 8, 2016

Have You Visited The Library Of Congress?


Over the holiday break I took a family trip to Washington, D.C. and visited a number of places I had never been to, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, The Spy Museum, and The Newseum.  But the best place of all was The Library of Congress. This place is quite special and needs to be seen and experienced by more people.

The Library of Congress was established in 1800, by Congress.  It began to collect books that Congress though it would help members to be better informed while legislating on national matters.  The Capital Building was burned down in 1814 by the British and the fire was started when troops set the books on fire. It would restock and grow and then experience an accidental fire in the 1850s that claimed a significant chunk of its collection.  But since then it’s grown steadily and sizebly.

Currently, the Library’s 745 miles of shelf space house more than 147 million items in 470 languages. It has books, DVDs, CDs, manuscripts, newspapers, old scrolls, and all kinds of cultural and historical items.  The library takes in over 10,000 items a day for its permanent collection.

The Library of Congress got its own building in 1897 and eventually expanded to other buildings.

When you visit the original building - The Jefferson Building – you must take the 1-hour tour.  The architectural marvel houses our nation’s richest treasure:  books!  If you can’t make it in person, get to see what this library houses.  Go on www.LOC.gov and you won’t be disappointed.

I bought a book at the substantial gift shop entitled The Library of Congress:  The Nation’s Library.  It gave the history of this amazing place, yet it still fell short of showing the practical advantages of such a place.  Our nation’s culture and history can be found in its aging newspapers, rare books, and hand-written manuscripts.

It’s actually mind-boggling and overwhelming to think of all that is contained in the Library of Congress. These materials are available to all of us and not just some obscure scholars.  Do you want to read a newspaper from 1678 from Colonial America or touch a book published in 1462?  This is where knowledge lives and is protected.  Tt’s in paper form and huggable.

I felt delighted when I went to look to see if my book was stored there and found it listed.  It may be out of print, but The Florida Homeowner, Condo, and Co-Op Association Handbook will live on forever.  

Will your book reside there?  Will you come visit?  It’s a treasure to witness.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016

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