Library of Congress.

Keith, the manager of our B&B, recommended we take a docent tour of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world with over 158 million pieces of work in their collections. Fun fact: In order for something to be copyrighted, the Library of Congress has to receive a copy of it.

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You can do a self-guided tour anytime, but they also run free docent tours roughly every hour from 10:30 to 3:30 Mondays through Saturdays.

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As I’m sure you can tell, the Library of Congress does not lack in the department of grandeur.IMG_0224 IMG_0225

I could probably stand here for days taking photos of the Library.IMG_0228 IMG_0231 IMG_0235 IMG_0236 IMG_0239 IMG_0240 IMG_0241

The reading room has a stunning dome with beautiful stained-glass windows.IMG_0242 IMG_0243The windows have the seal of each of the 48 states that were part of the Union when the Library was built.IMG_0245 IMG_0246One of the coolest tidbits the docent told us is that anyone can use the library. You simply go to the other building and get a library card, and then request a book (or other artefact such as a newspaper or PhD thesis or photograph) and they let you know when they have it ready for viewing.IMG_0247 IMG_0248 IMG_0250

This map has the first known usage of the term “America” in regards to the New World.IMG_0251

The view from the balcony’s not bad either.IMG_0255 IMG_0257 IMG_0262

President Thomas Jefferson solddonated some 6,500 books to the Library to get it started (after the original collection had been burnt by the Brits in 1812). They have a room dedicated to recreating what his personal study would have looked like at his home in Monticello with the books he gave the Library.IMG_0263 IMG_0266I’m telling you, this building is by and large one of the most beautiful I’ve been in.IMG_0269

The docent tour lasts about an hour, and it is well worth it. The docent guides you through the library giving you fun facts about the library: what it was and what it still is to the American public. They also explain key significances about the building and the collection that the layman would absolutely miss. Piglet and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the Library.

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