a list of Gifts to the Nation already made, .
For a list of International Gifts to the Nation already made,
Collections, Endowed Chairs, Endowed Curatorships, and National
Focal Points of Scholarship
nearly 200 years, the Library of Congress has collected and preserved
our nation's cultural heritage. Its collection of more than 119
million items represents America's "creative legacy," and ranges
from books, maps, and manuscripts to photographs, motion pictures,
and music. Copyright deposits have been a major source for acquiring
materials. The Library has also received a significant portion of
its unparalleled collections as special gifts from donors, collectors,
and Americans who aspire to ensure the national heritage is available
for generations to come.
the generosity of such benefactors, the Library would not have such
treasures as the diaries of Orville and Wilbur Wright, the music of
George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Leonard Bernstein, the
outstanding Stern Collection of Abraham Lincoln materials, or the
Rosenwald Collection of rare illustrated books from as far back as
the fifteenth century.
the Bicentennial Gifts to the Nation program, Library curators
identified additional materials that belong in the collections of
"America's Library," where they will be preserved and
accessible to all. Gifts to the Nation provides both the
opportunity to support the acquisition of these important cultural
legacies, and, through endowed chairs, curatorships, and national
focal points of scholarship, the scholars and curators who bring
our national treasures to life.
very special undertaking was the effort to rebuild the original
core of the Library--Thomas Jefferson's vast and diverse personal
collection--which he sold to Congress after the British burned the
U.S. Capitol, including the Library of Congress, in 1814. Tragically,
in 1851, nearly two-thirds of Jefferson's library was destroyed
in another Capitol fire. Jefferson believed that there was "no subject
to which a member of Congress may not have the occasion to refer,"
and reconstructing his wide-ranging collection, the scope of which
is reflected in the current Library of Congress holdings, providing
new insights into the mind of one of our nation's greatest thinkers
and reinforcing the Jeffersonian principle upon which the Library
of Congress was built--that free access to information and knowledge
is one of the cornerstones of democracy.
more information about the Library's original collection and its
reconstruction, visit Library
of Congress Announces Worldwide Search for Lost Books of Thomas
Jefferson or Reconstructing
the Foundation: The Jefferson Collection in the Library Congress.
The Bicentennial exhibition, Thomas Jefferson, which featured,
for the first time ever, the display of the reconstructed Jefferson
library, may be viewed online.
enhance the research opportunities at the Library, the Bicentennial
celebration also included giving opportunities for Endowed Chairs,
Endowed Curatorships, and National Focal Points of Scholarship.
Support for these programs ensures that experts from diverse fields
of study use and write about the Library's collections as well as
provide advice on collection policies for future acquisitions. For
information on Gifts to the Nation, contact Mr. Winston Tabb,
Associate Librarian for Library Services, at (202) 707-6240 ([email protected]),
or Norma Baker, Director of the Development Office, at (202) 707-2777.