July 30, 2007 "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" To Close on Aug. 18

Special Extended Hours Offered on Aug. 7, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: (202) 707-4604

After 10 years on display, “American Treasures of the Library of Congress,” an unprecedented exhibition of rare and unique items in the nation’s library, will close on Aug. 18. On view Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 18 in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C., the exhibition’s hours will be extended until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7 to provide the public with an extra opportunity to view this historic exhibition. In addition to its regular tour schedule, on aug. 7 the Library will offer tours of the historic Thomas Jefferson Building departing the Ground Floor visitors center every half hour from 5 to 7 p.m. In addition to the American Treasures Gallery, guided tours of the historic Jefferson Building will be offered every 30 minutes beginning at 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Aug. 7. These tours are without advance reservations. During the past decade, approximately 2.5 million visitors have viewed more than 2,700 treasured historical items from the world’s largest library, which have rotated through the exhibition. These include the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night of his assassination, the first motion picture and the first baseball card. “‘American Treasures of the Library of Congress’ opened in May 1997 to mark the official reopening of the magnificently renovated and restored Thomas Jefferson Building in its 100th anniversary year,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The exhibition will close next month to enable construction of a new interactive experience for Library visitors, which will open in 2008.” A decade after the Jefferson Building was reopened to the public, the Library will provide visitors with a bold high-tech new way to experience the grandeur of the building and the unparalleled resources housed within. The new presentations and exhibitions will capitalize on the construction of the Capitol Visitor Center and the tunnel connecting the Capitol with the Thomas Jefferson Building. The anticipated increase in visitors—from 2 million to 3 million more annually—as a result of this passageway has prompted the Library to design what it hopes will be the top tourist attraction for those coming to the nation’s capital from around the world. “American Treasures,” which has been made possible by generous support from the Xerox Corporation, will remain accessible on the Library’s Web site at www.loc.gov/exhibits.


PR 07-151
ISSN 0731-3527