The Library of Congress reasserted itself during

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The Library of Congress reasserted itself during

Post by jancancook on Sat Nov 12, 2011 5:09 am

The Library of Congress reasserted itself during the latter half of the 19th century under Librarian Ainsworth Rand Spofford, who directed the Library from 1865 to 1897. Aided by an overall expansion of the federal government and a favorable political climate, Spofford built broad bipartisan support for the Library as a national library and a legislative resource, began comprehensively collecting Americana and American literature, and led the construction of a new building to house the Library, and transformed the Librarian of Congress position into one of strength and independence.[4] Between 1865 and 1870, Congress appropriated funds for the construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, placed all copyright registration and deposit activities under the Library's control, and restored the Library's international book exchange. The Library also acquired the vast libraries of both the Smithsonian and historian Peter Force, strengthening its scientific and Americana collections significantly. By 1876, the Library of Congress had 300,000 volumes and was tied with Boston Public Library as the nation's largest library. When the Library moved from the Capitol building to its new headquarters in 1897, it had over 840,000 volumes, 40% of which had been acquired through copyright deposit.[4]



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