Happy Birthday, Library of Congress! April 27, 2015 07:22

Library of Congress, Washington, DCOn April 24, 1800 the Library of Congress was established. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. President John Adams approved legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress," thus establishing the Library of Congress.

The first books were ordered from London and arrived in 1801. They were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the library's first home.The first library catalog listed listed 964 volumes and nine maps.

Twelve years later, the Library of Congress housed 3000 volumes. Unfortunately, the British army invaded the city of Washington that year and burned the Capitol, including the Library of Congress.Library of Congress

President Thomas Jefferson responded by selling his personal library, the largest and finest in the country, to Congress to "recommence" the library. The purchase of Jefferson's 6,487 volumes was approved in the next year, and a professional librarian, George Watterston, was hired to replace the House clerks in the administration of the library.

Library of Congress Jefferson HallIn 1851, a second major fire at the library destroyed about two-thirds of its 55,000 volumes, including two-thirds of the Thomas Jefferson library (pictured above). Congress responded quickly and generously to the disaster, and within a few years a majority of the lost books were replaced.

After the Civil War, the collection was greatly expanded, and by the 20th century the Library of Congress had become the de facto national library of the United States and one of the largest in the world. Today, the collection is housed in three enormous buildings in Washington. Pictured at right is the Great Hall grand staircase and bronze statue of a female figure on a newel post holding a torch of electric light. This is the Thomas Jefferson Building with a bust of George Washington at the left.

Library of Congress Reading Room in the RotundaThe Library of Congress does not a have a copy of every book published in the United States but it does have more than 36 million books and printed materials as well as more than 121 million maps, manuscripts, photographs, films, audio and video recordings, prints and drawings, and other special collections. 

The Copyright  Office is part of the Library of Congress. All works under copyright protection that are published in the United States are subject to the mandatory deposit provision of the copyright law. This means that each copyrighted work is sent to the Library of Congress. Here's a photochrom print from about 1901 of the Reading Room in the Rotunda.

Our Excel Math lessons are registered with the Copyright Office. You can see the copyright date on each Excel Math publication. Here's a Grade 6 Student Lesson Sheet. New to Excel Math? Learn how to get started.

On this page the copyright notice is in the bottom right-hand corner:

Excel Math Grade 6 Lesson Sheet

The Library of Congress has a large collection of teacher resources, lesson ideas and worksheets you can use in the classroom. Visit them at http://www.loc.gov/education/ for more information and to download printables.

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