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The Library of Congress : Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room : Rare Book and Special Collections Division

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Randolph Caldecott! A children's book illustrator so beloved that a medal was named in his honor by the American Library Association for the best children's book illustrator of the year.

The First Printed Christmas Card

“A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.”  London: Summerly’s Home Treasury Office, [1843]. 

Rare Book Blog

New Online: A Digital Treasure Trove of Rare Books

Thanks to the digital age, the stacks are open and searchable—everyone can access these untold treasures through our newly released web portal.

Fresh Off the Digital Press

Report of the Philadelphia Fashions and Tailors' archetype: for the fall and winter of 1827-8. [Philadelphia, Pa: s.n., 1827]

Rare Book Webcast

Schemes of Annotation in Ptolemy's Geography

Chet Van Duzer discusses Ptolemy's "Geography."

  101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 239
  Washington, D.C. 20540-4740
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Weekdays, 8:30am-5:00 pm
* Final book requests at 4:15pm
Closed Sat/Sun & Federal holidays

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Symposium at the Library

Imagining the Extraordinary: Scientific Illustration from the Renaissance to the Digital Age

March 15, 2018: 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
March 16, 2018: 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Featured Online Exhibit

Martin Luther as Priest, Heretic, and Outlaw:
The Reformation at 500


The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 800,000 items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815.
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  December 12, 2017
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