As part of my research, I'm getting to know two of the world's most famous libraries, the Bodleian in Oxford, England and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. I have consulted resources in both of these libraries and have reader's cards for both of them. I will continue to get to know both of them better in the weeks and years ahead.
The Bodleian is the main library for the University of Oxford. It was founded in 1602 and today holds over 9 million items in its collection. There are three main buildings for the Central Bodleian, but there are lots of smaller libraries associated with the different colleges of the University of Oxford, and they all cooperate with the Bodleian. Here is a photo of the most interesting architectural building of the Bodleian, the Radcliffe Camera:
The Library of Congress was founded in 1800, nearly 200 years after the Bodleian, but it contains the largest collection of any library in the world: over 144 million items, including 32+ million books and 62+ million manuscripts. There are three massive buildings located right across the street from the Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Each building is named after one of the three US presidents that followed George Washington: Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. On display in the Jefferson building is one of only three extent original copies of the Gutenburg Bible, one of the first books ever printed (in the 1400s). Here is a picture of the Jefferson Building with me in front of it:
Both the Bodleian and the LOC are copyright depository libraries. That means that they have a copy of every item published in the country in which they were established. So the Bodleian has a copy of every item published in the UK and the LOC has a copy of everything published in the US.
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