Monday, April 18, 2011

Library of Congress

This is the last of the pictures I took in DC from my cell phone. We went to the Library of Congress as part of a Congressional Tour. The building itself is open to the public for self-guided tours, but having one of the docents talk about the artwork and such was cool. You can't get into the reading rooms without applying to be a reader, but you can go to a viewing area to look in. The system is fascinating to hear how they have it functioning. My kids "favorite" fact was that the LoC burned and Thomas Jefferson offered his library to replace it. In fact, the LoC purchased his library (after much debate) only to have some portion of that burn as well. So they're looking for more replacement books.

The docent also told us that the old films are kept in separate vaults, each with it's own fire suppressant system in place. That way, they only lose one/two in the event of fire.

There are two bibles on display on the second floor. Both are under glass and no photography is permitted of them. There are multiple exhibit halls, each with a different set of books on display. As late as we were getting there and the fact that we had a guided tour, we didn't get to see those. One of them contains a map that has the first recorded label of 'America' on it.

From the Lobby floor looking up From the 2nd floor looking at the image that preceeds the entry to view the reading room. The front of the Library of Congress

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