Ainsworth Rand Spofford, Librarian of Congress from 1864 to 1897, lobbied for the law signed by President Ulysses S. Grant on July 8, 1870, that centralized copyright registration and deposit in the Library of Congress. Prior to that date, registration and deposit took place in U.S. District Courts. Spofford served as the sole copyright officer of the U.S. government and as such corresponded with statesmen, scholars, literary figures, publishers and editors nationwide. Until the opening of the glorious Thomas Jefferson Building in 1897, Spofford lacked adequate space for his rapidly increasing collection of copyright deposits. With more than 70,000 books piled on the floor of his office, he feared that he would soon be presiding over the "greatest chaos in America." Only his remarkable memory made these books accessible to Library users.