The Library of Congress—the largest library in the world and the oldest U.S. federal cultural institution—recently launched the "Library of Congress Experience," offering visitors unique historical and cultural treasures brought to life through cutting-edge interactive technology and a companion Web site.
The Experience comprises a series of new, ongoing exhibitions, dozens of interactive kiosks, an inspiring multimedia presentation on the collections and programs of the Library, and a continuing online educational experience at the Web site myLOC.gov. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
“This has been years in the making, and represents fine work by scores of staff and some amazing generosity from our donors, especially the James Madison Council,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “It’s truly a time for celebration. We are making our treasures more accessible to everyone than ever before.”
The Librarian has led a 20-year effort to harness digital technology and the Internet to make the content of the Library available to users around the world. With his leadership and fund-raising efforts during that period, the Library has received nearly half a billion dollars in outright gifts, pledges and in-kind contributions. Without these gifts from generous donors, the Library could not have created the new Experience or accomplished many other digital initiatives.
Inspired by the Librarian’s leadership and vision and guided by Chief Operating Officer Jo Ann Jenkins, talented staff members throughout the Library collaborated over thousands of hours to create the Library of Congress Experience to make the Library’s historic collections more readily accessible to millions of expected new visitors. Library visitorship is expected to rise substantially with the completion of the Capitol Visitors Center and opening of a tunnel linking the center to the Thomas Jefferson Building.