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Library of Congress
Library of Congress

Library

Washington, DC, Unites States

About The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, which houses the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.

The Library's first digitization project was called "American Memory." Launched in 1990, it initially planned to choose 160 million objects from its collection to make digitally available on laserdiscs and CDs that would be distributed to schools and libraries. After realizing that this plan would be too expensive and inefficient, and with the rise of the Internet, the Library decided to instead make digitized material available over the Internet. This project was made official in the National Digital Library Program (NDLP), created in October 1994. By 1999, the NDLP had succeeded in digitizing over 5 million objects. The Library has kept the "American Memory" name for its public domain website, which today contains 15 million digital objects, comprising over 7 petabytes.

Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus.

Tartariae sive Magni Chami Regni tÿpus.

Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate notatis omnibus insignibus et praecipuè iis locis... /

Ierusalem, cum suburbiis, prout tempore Christi floruit, accurate notatis omnibus insignibus et praecipuè iis locis... /

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man in the moon at large

Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man in the moon at large

The OP spectacles / Cruikshank del.

The OP spectacles / Cruikshank del.

Andrew Jackson, president of the United States / painted by W.J. Hubard ; C.G. Childs Lithr.; drawn by A. Newsam, pupil to C.G. Childs.

Andrew Jackson, president of the United States / painted by W.J. Hubard ; C.G. Childs Lithr.; drawn by A. Newsam, pupil to C.G. Childs.

Shrine of the Annunciation Nazareth April 20th 1839 / David Roberts, R.A.

Shrine of the Annunciation Nazareth April 20th 1839 / David Roberts, R.A.

[Masonic chart]

[Masonic chart]

[Warren G. Harding, half-length portrait, seated in vehicle, facing right, wearing mason's hat]

[Warren G. Harding, half-length portrait, seated in vehicle, facing right, wearing mason's hat]

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in a mason's garb]

[William Howard Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing right, in a mason's garb]

[Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, seated and holding his spectacles and pencil (retouched to stand out)]

[Abraham Lincoln, three-quarter length portrait, seated and holding his spectacles and pencil (retouched to stand out)]

[King Kelly, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[King Kelly, Chicago White Stockings, baseball card portrait]

[Central Dome, Paris Exposition, 1889]

[Central Dome, Paris Exposition, 1889]

[Pavilion Perusson, exhibit of bricks, enamels, terre-cotta and ceramics, for M. Perusson and Desfontaines, architect T. Ferret, located near the base of Eiffel Tower, Paris Exposition, 1889]

[Pavilion Perusson, exhibit of bricks, enamels, terre-cotta and ceramics, for M. Perusson and Desfontaines, architect T. Ferret, located near the base of Eiffel Tower, Paris Exposition, 1889]

Dude sweet music, superb costumes.

Dude sweet music, superb costumes.

[Holstengate, Lubeck, Germany]

[Holstengate, Lubeck, Germany]

[Da Mulla Palace, Venice, Italy]

[Da Mulla Palace, Venice, Italy]

U.S.S. Chicago, one of the crew

U.S.S. Chicago, one of the crew

Kellar

Kellar

[Harry Houdini, King of Cards]

[Harry Houdini, King of Cards]

Déesse 16, rue Halévy, Paris / / PAL.

Déesse 16, rue Halévy, Paris / / PAL.

Gillender Building, New York City

Gillender Building, New York City

Advertisement: Victor Records: the Benson Orch. of Chicago

Advertisement: Victor Records: the Benson Orch. of Chicago

City Hall subway station, New York

City Hall subway station, New York

St. Paul Building, New York City

St. Paul Building, New York City

[Full-length profile portrait of a woman, possibly Turkman or Kirgiz, standing on a carpet at the entrance to a yurt, dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry]

[Full-length profile portrait of a woman, possibly Turkman or Kirgiz, standing on a carpet at the entrance to a yurt, dressed in traditional clothing and jewelry]

Ruins of City Hall, [1906 earthquake, San Francisco, Calif.]

Ruins of City Hall, [1906 earthquake, San Francisco, Calif.]

A spinner in the Mollahan Mills, Newberry, S.C. Dec. 3/08. Witness, Sara R. Hine. Location: Newberry, South Carolina / Photo by Lewis W. Hine.

A spinner in the Mollahan Mills, Newberry, S.C. Dec. 3/08. Witness, Sara R. Hine.  Location: Newberry, South Carolina / Photo by Lewis W. Hine.

Taft Parade, Admiral Coghlan in auto, New York

Taft Parade, Admiral Coghlan in auto, New York

[High school route boys. Adolescents. Some in back row have been newsboys for seven, eight and nine years.] Location: New Haven, Connecticut.

[High school route boys. Adolescents. Some in back row have been newsboys for seven, eight and nine years.]  Location: New Haven, Connecticut.

Frank F. Gibson, 1305 Linden St. Western Union Telegraph Co. Messenger No. 7. 14 years of age. 1 year in service. Visits houses of prostitution. Guides soldiers to segregated district. Smokes. Still at school and works from 8:30 P.M. to 12:30 A.M. Investigator, Edward F. Brown. Location: Wilmington, Delaware / Photo by Louis [i.e. Lewis] W. Hine, May, 1910.

Frank F. Gibson, 1305 Linden St. Western Union Telegraph Co. Messenger No. 7. 14 years of age. 1 year in service. Visits houses of prostitution. Guides soldiers to segregated district. Smokes. Still at school and works from 8:30 P.M. to 12:30 A.M. Investigator, Edward F. Brown.  Location: Wilmington, Delaware / Photo by Louis [i.e. Lewis] W. Hine, May, 1910.

Borodinskai︠a︡ t︠s︡erkovʹ. (Na kupoli︠e︡ proboina). Borodino

Borodinskai︠a︡ t︠s︡erkovʹ. (Na kupoli︠e︡ proboina). Borodino

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 & 3 Burgon Street, Carter Lane, London, E.C.

Britons! Your country needs you / Printed by Saunders & Cullingham, 2 & 3 Burgon Street, Carter Lane, London, E.C.

First call I need you in the Navy this minute! Our country will always be proudest of those who answered the first call.

First call I need you in the Navy this minute! Our country will always be proudest of those who answered the first call.

Zeichnet 7. Kriegsanleihe / Alfred Offner.

Zeichnet 7. Kriegsanleihe / Alfred Offner.

Oldsmobile Sales Co., Rock Creek Park, [Washington, D.C.]

Oldsmobile Sales Co., Rock Creek Park, [Washington, D.C.]

Oldsmobile Sales Co., Scottish Rite

Oldsmobile Sales Co., Scottish Rite

Bathing beach beauty contest, [1920], Eliz. Roache (most beautiful suit)

Bathing beach beauty contest, [1920], Eliz. Roache (most beautiful suit)

Mrs. Phil Riley, St.Clair car

Mrs. Phil Riley, St.Clair car

Buick Motor C.

Buick Motor C.

Irving Trust Bldg., 1 Wall St.

Irving Trust Bldg., 1 Wall St.
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About American Memory Digital Collections

American Memory is a source for public domain image resources, as well as audio, video, and archived Web content. Nearly all of the lists of holdings, the catalogs of the library, can be consulted directly on its website. Librarians all over the world consult these catalogs, through the Web or through other media better suited to their needs, when they need to catalog for their collection a book published in the United States. They use the Library of Congress Control Number to make sure of the exact identity of the book. Digital images are also available at Snapshots of the Past, which provides archival prints.

The Library has a budget of between $6–8 million each year for digitization, meaning that not all works can be digitized. It makes determinations about what objects to prioritize based on what is especially important to Congress or potentially interesting for the public. The 15 million digitized items represent less than 10% of the Library's total 160-million item collection.