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.
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.
The reading room has a stunning dome with beautiful stained-glass windows. The windows have the seal of each of the 48 states that were part of the Union when the Library was built. One 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.
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. I’m telling you, this building is by and large one of the most beautiful I’ve been in.
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.