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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 167 million items includes more than 39 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 72 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 2017 at a Glance

In fiscal year 2017 (October 2016 to September 2017), the Library of Congress ...

Responded to more than 1 million reference requests from Congress, the public and other federal agencies

Registered more than 450,000 claims to copyright through its U.S. Copyright Office

Circulated nearly 20.9 million copies of Braille and recorded books and magazines to more than 470,000 blind and physically handicapped reader accounts

Circulated more than 1 million items for use inside and outside the Library

Performed more than 10 million preservation actions on items in the Library's physical collections

Recorded a total of 167,000,738 items in the collections:

  • 24,356,449 cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • 14,933,799 items in the nonclassified print collections, including books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports, and other printed material
  • 127,710,490 items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 3,696,825 audio materials, (discs, tapes, talking books, other recorded formats)
    • 72,061,060 manuscripts
    • 5,586,836 maps
    • 17,219,510 microforms
    • 1,826,847 moving images
    • 8,195,320 items of sheet music
    • 15,683,296 visual materials, including:
      • 14,897,266 photographs
      • 108,815 posters
      • 677,215 prints and drawings
    • 3,440,796 other items, (including machine-readable items)

Welcomed nearly 1.9 million onsite visitors and recorded 110 million visits and more than 503.1 million page views on the Library's web properties

Employed 3,105 permanent staff members

Operated with a total fiscal 2017 appropriation of $631.95 million, including the authority to spend $52.07 million in offsetting receipts.

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