Library of Congress

The Library of Congress was established in 1800 and its legislation is to have "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress". The Library is the oldest federal cultural institution in the USA, and it is the largest library in the world  by shelf space and number of books. Although it is open to the public, only Library employees, Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials may check out books.

After the WAR of 1812 , big number of books original collection was destroyed , Thomas Jefferson sold  6,487 books ,(his entire personal collection ) to the library in 1815. That was a collection  of philosophy, science, literature, architecture and other topics in English and foreign languages that Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating.

Now the collection of the Library includes  32 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 61 million manuscripts,  the largest rare book collection in North America, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, and Gutenberg Bible  (one of only four perfect vellum copies known to exist).

Photography inside the quite rooms is prohibited. All the pictures were taken from the second and third floor and mezzanine.  Please enjoy them.