Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Library of Congress, Washington D.C

The sight I was most excited to see in Washington D.C was the Library of Congress. It's a very knowledgable place with lots of lovely quotes on the walls ("in books lies the soul of the whole past time"), pictures of Roman goddesses and beautiful architecture. 

Library of Congress, Washington D.C
Here are some random facts about it:

1. It's the largest library in the world, boasting over 146 million books in 140 languages. If you laid them end to end they'd stretch 700 miles.  

2. It has the largest comic book collection in the world.

3. It adds another 50 thousand books to its collection on average each week. 

4. When the British burned the Library of Congress in 1814, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his  personal collection to replace the burned books. In 1815 Congress purchased his library for $23, 950. You can still view his original library today.

There's a fantastic exhibition that's just begun called "Books that Shaped America." You can read the entire list here. Looking at the first editions was fascinating and as always I got a thrill at the inclusions of ones I'd read and despaired a little about those I hadn't. 

Where's your favourite library?

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