Library of Congress lends more than books
By Blake Swan
When some people go to Washington, D.C. they go to see the Capitol building, housing our legislative branch of government; or to the National Archives to see the founding documents of our democracy.
Instead I went to the library. It wasn’t just any library, it was the Library of Congress, our de facto national library and the largest in the world.
I didn’t go to the Library just because, I went to see all of the amazing treasures displayed within. Upon entering, there is a security checkpoint, of course, and then guests are given a map and are free to wander most of the colossal building.
Among books on display is the personal library of the third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. After the British burned most of the original Library’s collection in 1814, Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement and Congress purchased it from him. Today it is on display in a large glass bookshelf that allows visitors to inspect each book closely.
Also on display are American classics such as “Huckleberry Finn,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Jungle.” Rare pieces in the Library include the Gutenberg Bible, one of three perfect copies on vellum that still exist, and the Library’s oldest piece of writing, a cuneiform tabletancient script from mesopotamia from 2040 B.C.
I visited the National Museum of American History and I think that the Library is more interesting and can also teach one more about America.