This library has the largest collection of books in the entire world!
The Library of Congress began in 1800 when President John Adams approved a congressional act that moved the national capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. The bill also provided $5,000 for books for the use of the U.S. Congress. That was the beginning of the Library of Congress.
During the War of 1812 the Capitol was severely damaged by fire, but the next year Jefferson's personal library was purchased and became the foundation for the new Library of Congress.
Originally, the Library was for the Congress' official use for research. After the Civil War, the Librarian of Congress at the time, Ainsworth Rand Spofford, convinced Congress that the public should also have access.
Located adjacent to the United States Supreme Court and across from the Capitol building, the library can be accessed via a tunnel from the Capitol as well as the main entrance.
The Library of Congress has the largest collection of books in the world, and it is considered the oldest federal cultural intuition in the United States. It also houses newspapers, photos, films, maps, art, artifacts, recordings, special exhibits, and research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages. There are more than 170 million items inside plus 12,000 new items are added daily.
That is all impressive, but the building itself is magnificent! From the large fountain in the front to the architecture, tile work, stained glass windows, mosaics, to the marble columns, beautiful materials, art, and paintings.
There are several tours a day and the library is open 7 days a week. No food is allowed inside but drinking fountains are available. There is a gift shop, and everyone over 18 years old can apply for a library card (good for 2 years). This is a must if you would like to go into the main reading room.
Some exhibits that you don't want to miss are Thomas Jefferson's personal library, The Gutenberg Bible, and the Gershwin exhibit. You also will not want to miss the Bob Hope room and the first map with the word America on it.