Audio File length: 2.28
English / USA Language: English / USA

Behind the Capitol are the three buildings of the Library of Congress: the Jefferson Building, which is the oldest, the John Adams Building, and the most recent, the James Madison Building, built in the 1970s. The Library of Congress is the largest in the world, containing more than 32 million volumes in 470 languages, as well as 61 million manuscripts. It is also home to the largest collection of rare books in North America, including the first publication of the Declaration of Independence and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the first book in the world to be printed.

It is also possible to consult a million copies of daily newspapers from the last 300 years, 500 thousand microfilms, 120 thousand comics, 3 million music recordings and almost 15 million photographs, as well as films, videos, maps and sheet music.

In the magnificent central hall of the Jefferson Building there is a marvelous marble staircase and a frescoed double colonnade.


An interesting fact: 22,000 books arrive in the National Library every day. Just 10,000 of these, however, are deemed worthy of remaining there. The others are given away to other libraries, or to schools and universities.


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