Press Contact: Jill D. Brett (202) 707-2905

December 22, 1997

Congressional Advisory Committee Recommends Library of Congress Commemorative Coin

The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee (CCCAC) has recommended to Congress that the nation's first bimetallic coin be issued to commemorate the Bicentennial in 2000 of the founding of the Library of Congress in the year 1800.

The CCCAC was established by Congress in 1992 to recommend to Congress the events, persons or places to be comemorated by the issuance of commemorative coins. The Committee is chaired by the Director of the United States Mint and is composed of representatives of the numismatic community and the general public.

Under legislation passed last year, beginning in 1999 only two commemorative coins are to be issued in any calendar year. The committee recommended enactment of legislation authorizing up to 200,000 gold and platinum $5 coins. The coins would carry a surcharge of $35. The CCCAC recommended that the surcharge be used to make more of the collections of the Library of Congress available on the Internet.

The Librarys Internet presence (http://www.loc.gov) now receives about 2 million transactions each working day. Its American Memory site, with more than 500,000 million American historical items, is one of the most substantive and popular on the Internet. The goal of making millions more of these items available electronically during the Librarys Bicentennial will be greatly enhanced by the proceeds from the coin sale.

The Librarys Bicentennial celebration will highlight the role of libraries in promoting knowledge and creativity. Under the general theme of Gifts to the Nation, the Library hopes to share its collections through an expanded National Digital Library Program and acquisitions for the Librarys collections from individuals and institutions across the nation. The CCCAC recommendation was included in the committee's 1997 annual report to Congress, which was issued on December 17.

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PR 97-214
12/23/97
ISSN 0731-3527

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