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Jump Back in Time Progressive Era (1890-1913)
Excavation of site for the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Excavation of the site for the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 1888

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The Library of Congress Opened Its Doors
November 1, 1897

In 1980, the building was named the Thomas Jefferson Building in honor of the nation's third president. In 1815, Jefferson sold his personal collection of 6,487 books to the Library, helping to rebuild the holdings that had been destroyed when the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812.

How big is the library today? Congress houses most of its collections in three buildings on Capitol Hill. In fact, if all the bookshelves in the library were laid end to end, they would stretch over 500 miles! Take a visit to your Library of Congress.

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