January 23, 2014 The Library of Congress by the Numbers in 2013

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

The Library of Congress today released statistics for fiscal year 2013. The daily business of being the world’s largest library, home of the U.S. Copyright Office and a supportive agency to the U.S. Congress resulted in the Library adding 2.65 million physical items to its permanent collections, registering more than 496,000 copyright claims and responding to 636,000 congressional reference requests in fiscal year 2013.

Some notable items newly cataloged into the Library’s collection include the papers of astronomer Carl Sagan; eight rare U.S. city plans; Pope Clement V’s Constitutiones, printed in 1476; the Bob Wolff sports broadcasting collection; the collection of Sharon Farmer, the first woman and the first African American to serve as chief White House photographer; and a list of books that Thomas Jefferson asked newspaper publisher William Duane to buy in Paris for the recently established Library of Congress.

The U.S. Copyright Office registered work in fiscal year 2013 from authors in all 50 states. Grammy Award-nominated songs such as “Locked Out of Heaven,” registered in November 2012, by Bruno Mars, and such box-office toppers as “Iron Man 3,” registered in April and “Despicable Me 2,” registered in June, were among the nearly half-million novels, poems, films, software, video games, music, photographs and other works submitted.

Reference librarians and Congressional Research Service staff responded to more than 1 million reference requests from patrons both on-site and via phone and email – an average of 4,600 every business day. Students, authors and scholars sought information this year about World War I, trade data, early exploration of the Americas, household management in the ancient world, the timing of the federal fiscal year, family history and how many languages Thomas Jefferson could speak.

In fiscal year 2013, the Library of Congress …

  • Responded to more than 636,000 congressional reference requests and delivered to Congress approximately 23,000 volumes from the Library’s collections;
  • Registered 496,599 claims to copyright;
  • Provided reference services to 513,946 individuals in person, by telephone and through written and electronic correspondence;
  • Circulated more than 25 million copies of Braille and recorded books and magazines to the user accounts of more than 800,000 blind and physically handicapped readers;
  • Circulated more than 1 million items for use within the Library;
  • Preserved more than 5.6 million items from the Library’s collections;
  • Recorded a total of 158,007,115 physical items in the collections:
    • 23,592,066 cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
  • 13,344,477 books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), monographs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other print material
  • 121,070,572 items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
    • 3,530,036 audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books and other recorded formats)
  • 68,971,722 manuscripts
  • 5,507,706 maps
  • 16,816,894 microforms
  • 1,697,513 moving images (film, television broadcasts, DVDs)
  • 6,751,212 items of sheet music
  • 14,472,273 visual materials, as follows:
  • 13,728,116 photographs
  • 104,879 posters
  • 639,278 prints and drawings
  • 3,323,216 other (including machine-readable collections)
  • Welcomed more than 1.6 million onsite visitors and recorded 84 million visits and more than 519 million page-views on the Library’s web properties. At year’s end, the Library’s online primary-source files totaled 45.2 million.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its award-winning website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-009
ISSN 0731-3527