October 8, 2003 Thomas Jefferson Building is Subject of New Library Publication

Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

“The Thomas Jefferson Building, The Library of Congress” has recently been published by the Library in association with Scala Publishers’ Art Spaces. The book is part of an innovative series of postcard-size volumes celebrating the architecture—both contemporary and classical—of buildings containing the art and design of Europe and the New World.

When the nation was just over 100 years old, the Congress of the United States voted to create a new library building to house its burgeoning collections. First called the Congressional Library, the building was later renamed for Thomas Jefferson, who sold his personal library to the nation. This skillfully designed book explores the art and architecture of this magnificent building.

Termed the “national temple of the arts” on its opening in 1897, the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building was designed to house America’s national library and to showcase the art and culture of the growing Republic. Its grand-scale architecture was inspired by European national libraries, but its decoration was American-made. At the turn of the century, it rivaled many of the great European buildings of the period with its elaborate creations in plaster, mosaic, paint and stone, as well as its bold use of the latest technology such as elevators and pneumatic tubes for transporting books. Today, the Thomas Jefferson Building houses a wealth of collections and resources unimagined by its creators.

“The Thomas Jefferson Building, The Library of Congress,” a 64-page softcover book with 75 color illustrations, is available for $7.95 from the Library of Congress Sales Shop, Washington, DC 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557.


PR 03-173
ISSN 0731-3527