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General Information

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The Library of Congress occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building (1897) is the original separate Library of Congress building. (The Library began in 1800 inside the U.S. Capitol.) The John Adams Building was built in 1938 and the James Madison Memorial Building was completed in 1981. Other facilities include the High Density Storage Facility (2002) at Fort Meade, Md., and the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation (2007) in Culpeper, Va.

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Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 170 million items includes more than 39 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 73 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings.

Year 2019 at a Glance

In fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 to September 2019), the Library of Congress ...

Responded to more than 979,000 reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies, including the direct use of Congressional Research Service reports;

Through the U.S. Copyright Office, issued more than 547,000 registrations and recorded 12,550 documents containing 457,731 titles;

Circulated nearly 21.8 million copies of braille, audio and large-print items to blind and print disabled patrons;

Circulated more than 1.04 million physical items for use inside and outside the Library;

Performed 9.4 million preservation actions on items in the Library’s physical collections;

Recorded a total of 170,118,152 items in the collections:

  • 24,863,177 cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • 15,039,990 items in the nonclassified print collections, including books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other printed material
  • 130,214,985 items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 4,233,807 audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books and other recorded formats)
    • 73,908,819 manuscripts
    • 5,617,774 maps
    • 17,376,100 microforms
    • 1,849,175 moving images
    • 8,135,588 items of sheet music
    • 17,075,339 visual materials, including:
      • 14,840,703 photographs
      • 109,796 posters
      • 685,938 prints and drawings
      • 1,438,902 broadsides, photocopies, nonpictorial information, etc.
    • 2,018,383 other items (including machine-readable items);

Welcomed nearly 1.9 million onsite visitors and recorded 119.2 million visits and more than 520.8 million page views on the Library's web properties

Employed 3,210 permanent staff members

Operated with a total fiscal 2019 appropriation of $696.112 million, including the authority to spend $55.818 million in offsetting receipts.

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