"The Web Services team here at the Library (who are doing some simply amazing things) has given the blog a fresher look and new functionality. First, there’s a cleaner, more aesthetic look to it, and I like how the collections are now highlighted in the banners. In the sidebar, we’ve added links to our archives. Hard to believe we’ve been at this for more than two years now! There’s also a new box called “Find Us on the Web,” which links to the growing number of social-media sites on which we have a presence. Among other changes, they’ve upgraded to the newest version of WordPress, which makes it a lot easier for us to bring posts to you. And “under the hood,” there’s one especially significant change: The new back-end supports multiple users, which means the door is now open to additional blogs on LOC.gov."
The Library of Congress' history and origin is quite interesting. Having been established by Congress in 1800, housed in the Capitol, and summarily burned by the British in 1814 on their march through Washington, the holdings were replenished by purchasing former President Thomas Jefferson's personal library of almost 6500 books for almost $24,000. "Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating books....His library was considered to be one of the finest in the United States. In offering his collection to Congress, Jefferson anticipated controversy over the nature of his collection, which included books in foreign languages and volumes of philosophy, science, literature, and other topics not normally viewed as part of a legislative library. He wrote, 'I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer.'"
The library moved to a location east of the Capitol and opened it's doors in 1897. The Library of Congress is the world's largest library: "The collection of more than 130 million items includes more than 29 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings."
Whether by visiting in person or via the Internet, most will find that the Library of Congress is a vast and impressive resource.