Friday, January 24, 2014

My Visit to the World's Largest Library

Instead of spending Monday’s holiday buried in a book, I made a long over due visit to the Library of Congress. And the "world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity" does not disappoint. 

The library recently created a list of Books That Shaped America. I was surprised to find the list so diverse. After taking the guided tour, I learned that inclusivity is one of the library's primary goals. Along the marble stairway leading to the second level, you will find carvings of children from Africa, America, Europe, and Asia with their hands strategically placed on a globe. 

The architecture is so intricate that it’s almost overwhelming. Every detail has a story.

Numerous quotations are posted in the building and this is one of my favorites.  

The highlight for me was Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, particularly the way it is displayed. For some reason, cameras are not allowed in that room but the LoC website contains an image. 

Photo Credit

And I enjoyed this little tidbit: Jefferson liked to arrange books by subject. He borrowed from English philosopher Francis Bacon's classifications: Memory, Reason, and Imagination. And he came up with his own interpretation: History, Philosophy, and Fine Arts.

It was an afternoon well spent. 



Alysia A said...

Beautiful new blog!!!! I went to The Library of Congress when I was in 7th grade for a school trip. I want to go again. The photos are great and I agree the architecture is amazing.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

I've been getting great feedback on the blog. Thanks!

This was my first visit to the library and I was just being a tourist. I'll have to go back and start to become familiar with the book collections.

DelRica Jackson said...

I LOVE the LOC! It's one of my favorite places to visit in DC -- well besides Air & Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the...ok, I just LOVE DC!!!

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

The National Museum of the American Indian may be my favorite. But I like life a lot better in the suburbs :)

biblioglobal said...

Somehow I've never made it to the Library of Congress on visits to D.C. I definitely need to get there!

I really like that list of Books that Shaped America and the way it includes books that had an impact in so many different ways.

Shannon @ Reading Has Purpose said...

I agree about the list. To me, that makes it more valid. I've started purchasing the books that I do not have already. I plan to read a significant portion of the books included.