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A Volume from Thomas Jefferson's Library
Thomas Jefferson's library is kept in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division

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President James Madison Approved an Act of Congress to Purchase Thomas Jefferson's Library
January 30, 1815

Jefferson's collection was the seed from which the Library of Congress grew into the world's largest library today. Accessible to all Americans through its Web sites and in three buildings on Capitol Hill, it continues to grow. Other than books, the collection includes millions of newspapers, maps, prints, photographs, sound recordings, films and digital materials, as well as the personal papers of hundreds of famous Americans including 23 U.S. presidents. If you have a shelf of books at home, think of it as the beginning of your own private library, like Jefferson's. Be sure to visit your public and school libraries often. From the beginning, libraries have played a vital role in American democracy.
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