Library of Congress Part II


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Here is the complete timeline from the Library of Congress.

First catalog published showed the library collection of 3076 volumes and 53 maps, charts, and plans

🐍's Thoughts - On a side note, they also did away with overdue fines for members of Congress. Nice to know Congressional privilege goes back this far.

British burn Capitol and destroy the Library of Congress

Purchase of Thomas Jefferson's library of 6,487 items for $23,950 to replace the collection lost in fire. The biggest library in North America at the time both public and private
Accidental Christmas Eve "chimney fire" destroys approximately 35,000 volumes & 2/3 of Jefferson's library

🐍's Thoughts-- Great post on Burning Books Erasing Memories from @whitewave. He believes the amount of material destroyed in this fire was way larger than they admit. Jefferson's collection online

President Grant and Congress centralize all US copyright registration and deposit activities at the library.

🐍's Thoughts-- This is huge. Anyone in the US that applies for a copyright has to submit two copies to the Library of Congress. What kind of stuff is copyrighted?
Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. For all new materials, the library doesn't need to acquire it, it is given to them through the copyright process.

Library moved into its own building to be named the Thomas Jefferson Building in 1980.

🐍's Thoughts-- About eight hundred tons of books and other materials were moved from the capitol building on soaped up wooden chutes and wagons. Library Move Article I am sure nothing is getting damaged or lost here.
Library makes its printed catalog cards for sale to libraries around the world.

Influencing libraries around the world with the card catalog. Extending is influence to national libraries with inter-library loans and broadening access to qualified individuals and scholars.
The Library's collection reaches million volumes at this time.

President Theodore Roosevelt issues an executive order directing the transfer of the records of the Continental Congress and the personal papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, James Monroe, and Benjamin Franklin from the State Department to the Library.

🐍's Thoughts-- These are important documents, who knows what really happened behind the scenes to move us from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. Most Americans don't know there were 10 Presidents of the Congress before the system changed and we had a president as we think of in modern terms. John Hanson was the first leader of this country.I know you'll like this picture of him.

1904 Library acquires four thousand volume library of Indica - a collection of valuable Sanskrit and other Oriental works.
1906 Library acquires 80,000 volume private library of Russian Literature.
1908 Library acquires large and important collections of Hebraica, Chinese and Japanese books.
$1.5 million is appropriated for the purchase of the Vollbehr collection of incunabula, which includes the first Gutenberg Bible in the Western Hemisphere.

This collection is representative of every sort of publication from the 15th century presses - 635 publications and many books in vernacular languages. This purchase quadrupled the number of 15th Century books held by the library. The Gutenberg is one of three surviving perfect copies on vellum. 49 of 180 still exist today and only 21 of those are complete. There area total of 3,114 volumes in the Vollbehr Collection.
Stock market crashes two weeks before this purchase was approved.

Library acquires 2600 volumes from the collection from the Romanov family, including biographies, literature, and histories.

Annex Building opens, renamed John Adams building in 1980.

🐍's Thoughts-- Congress approved the $8.2 million for this bad boy in in June of 1930 after the stock market crash and it was built during the Great Depression.

The Library of Congress Mission to Europe

🐍's Thoughts-- The Library also organized a reference library to help establish the Globalists -- oops, I mean United Nations.

Acquisition of European publications that still exist after WWII -- cleaning up whats left of European history that doesn't fit? The library also initiated automatic book purchase agreements with foreign dealers around the world and expanded its international exchanges of official publications.

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 is approved, giving the Library’s Legislative Reference Service (LRS) permanent status as a separate Library department and providing for the hiring of nationally eminent specialists in 19 broad subject fields.

🐍's Thoughts-- More on these guys later.

The Library receives the Brady-Handy photographic collection, containing more than 3,000 negatives made by Civil War photographer Mathew B. Brady and several thousand by his nephew Levin C. Handy.

🐍's Thoughts-- We all have problems with the Civil War photos and the Library has a huge Number of Civil War Photos. Makes you wonder how many revealing ones didn't make it to the final collection or are not available online.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves an amendment to the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (popularly known as Public Law 480), which greatly strengthens the overseas acquisition program of the Library of Congress.

🐍's Thoughts-- Why would the library be strengthened by an Agricultural Trade and Development deal you ask? Besides contributing to the demise of the US textile industry, the deal allowed the Library to acquire books by using US-owned foreign currency, which allows the Library to acquire works cheaper based on the exchange rates and allowed the library to operate outside the borders of the US by setting up permanent acquisition centers in foreign countries and permanent acquisition deals with foreign booksellers.

1961 The library uses the above act to establish acquisition centers in New Delhi and Cairo.

President Lyndon B. Johnson approves the Higher Education Act of 1965, which allows the Library to acquire and provide cataloging information for research materials “currently published throughout the world that are of value to scholarship.”

This also gives the Library free reign to acquire ALL current library materials of value throughout the world.

1966 Library opens catalog sharing offices in London & Rio de Janeiro.

🐍's Thoughts-- world wide web before the internet? Sharing...

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 transforms and renames LRS. The newly structured Congressional Research Service (CRS) becomes the U.S. Congress’s own think tank for objective, nonpartisan policy analysis.

🐍's Thoughts-- The CRS is scary. Until I started researching for this post, I did not know they existed. These people not only determine what sources are available to Congress but they also have experts writing opinions for the Legislature and they guide Congress through all the procedural steps and lawfulness of any proposals. That is POWER. I know I didn't vote for anyone that works there. Favorite quote from the article linked above
At the present time, when there is an overwhelming amount of information readily available, it is even more essential that Members of Congress have access to issue experts in CRS who can assist them by gathering, analyzing and summarizing the most pertinent information.
“We work in an environment in which many entities are competing for members’ time and attention,” said Director Mazanec ...“CRS will stay true to its values and align with Congress’s needs. We want Congress to turn to CRS first when it is in need of research and analysis to support its deliberations and legislative decisions.”
Seriously, read the link.

1980 James Madison Building opens, the third building of the Library of Congress

The filing of cards into the Library’s main card catalog stops, and the online cataloging of the Library’s collections officially begins.

🐍's Thoughts-- Sure is a lot easier to make material disappear or change on computer vs. a hard copy.

The Library launches its National Digital Library program aimed at digitizing primary sources related to the study of American history.

🐍's Thoughts-- Just keep wondering what primary sources haven't or will never be digitized or available to the people. Also, think about the opposite, they put so much online that you are overwhelmed with search results and have to look for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

100 acre site located ON the US Army Base at Fort Meade MD set aside for storage overflow.

1998 Digital Millennium Act

🐍's Thoughts-- No need to explain the digital millennium act to anyone on this site. The Library is the only entity allowed to authorize exceptions to the millennium act and the exceptions have to be renewed every three years.

The new Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation located on a 45-acre site in Culpeper, Virginia, is transferred to the Library by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Institute provided $155 million for the design and construction of the four-building facility, the largest private gift ever made to the Library.

🐍's Thoughts-- This puppy has 90 miles of shelving= 1.1 million films, tv shows, and videos and 3.5 million recordings representing over 110 years of sound recordings from cylinders to CDs.

In Paris, Librarian James H. Billington announces the launch of the World Digital Library, an international collaborative project developed with UNESCO and other organizations.


From Wiki: The collections of the Library of Congress include more than 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, a Gutenberg Bible (originating from the St. Blaise Abbey, Black Forest) (one of only three perfect vellum copies known to exist); over 1 million U.S. government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; over 6,000 titles in all, totaling more than 120,000 issues comic book[58]titles; films; 5.3 million maps; 6 million works of sheet music; 3 million sound recordings; more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images including fine and popular art pieces and architectural drawings; the Betts Stradivarius; and the Cassavetti Stradivarius.

🐍's Thoughts-- Only about 10% of the Library's collection is digitized as they only budget 6 to 8 million a year to continue digitizing. And they are still collecting with six oversea offices and cooperative acquisitions arrangements with booksellers and libraries around the world.
The collections are listed on my time line are just the tip of the iceberg. The Collections are vast and include other important original documents.

This article: Jefferson's Legacy also relates information about the history of the library and its collections.

So you want to get rid of all of these original documents, just have another fire or terrorist attacks on a few key buildings. Another reset, burn it down like the Library of Alexandria. After that, the 10% that has been digitized can easily be changed omitted. I believe the Library of Congress was set up like the Smithsonian to preserve and filter our history.

Already local libraries are closing all over the UK:
Libraries Closing in UK & Nearly 130 public libraries closed across Britain in the last year. Here in the US, the libraries aren't closing but the amount of books in the libraries are shrinking to make room for more social media areas. If libraries close, they sell their regular books but where do their rare books and original document archives go? I'll bet that one of the acquisition arms of the Library will be there to help.

Plissken 🐍
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Man! This is depressing. I'm glad that the LOC rigorously pursues the purchase of books, documents and evidence of the world's history and cultures but I don't like that it's centralized in the hands of a corrupt government. I wonder if they've ever gotten any acquisitions from the Vatican?

I wonder if the Comstock devastation and destruction extended to the LOC?


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I know Comstock claimed to have successfully prosecuted more than 3,600 defendants under the federal law and destroyed over 160 tons of obscene literature in his role as special agent for the post office but i cannot find where he rifled libraries. I think he liked to shame people so maybe he didn't care about the libraries. He also was based in New York so most of his efforts were directed there instead of Washington. His biggest targets were abortions and contraceptives. I remember that this law was reluctantly passed by Congress but yet it is still around. At least the parts of it haven't been struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional


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It's frightening to think that one man can be responsible for so much of our history/culture being erased. He was just the face, though, of the organization behind the legislation. Rich men making the rules for the rest of us regarding morality while his good buddy dies of a social disease.

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