Washington, DC 20003
- Art Gallery-Museum,
The Library of Congress is the research arm of the legislative branch as well as the country's oldest cultural institution. It is the largest library in the world with more than 134 million items and approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The library exists within three buildings on Capitol Hill: the Thomas Jefferson Building (the first home of the library outside of the Capitol Building), the John Adams Building and the James Madison Memorial Building.
Visitors can see a vast array of significant pieces of history, including the smallest book (1/25" x 1/25"), the largest book (1 meter high), one of three perfect copies of the Gutenberg Bible and papers from twenty-three presidents. The library has the world's largest collections of comic books, Ph.D. dissertations and scientific and technical information, as well as the largest North American collection of rare manuscripts.
The original building itself was built in the Italian Renaissance style, completed in 1897 and hailed as "the largest, the costliest, and the safest" library building in the world.