Largest Library In The World

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 155.3 million items on approximately 838 miles of   bookshelves. The collections include more than 35 million books and   other print materials, 3.4 million recordings, 13.6 million photographs,   5.4 million maps, 6.5 million pieces of sheet music and 68 million manuscripts.

The Library was founded in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. On August 24, 1814, British troops burned the Capitol building   (where  the Library was  housed) and destroyed  the Library’s core   collection of 3,000 volumes. On January 30, 1815, Congress approved the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal   library of 6,487 books for $23,950.

The Collections

The Library receives some 15,000 items each working day and   adds approximately 11,000 items to the collections daily.  The majority   of the collections are received through the Copyright registration   process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office.  Materials   are also acquired through gift, purchase, other government agencies   (state, local and federal), Cataloging in Publication (a pre-publication   arrangement with publishers) and exchange with libraries in the United   States and abroad.  Items not selected for the collections or other   internal purposes are used in the Library’s national and international   exchange programs.  Through these exchanges the Library acquires   material that would not be available otherwise.  The remaining items are   made available to other federal agencies and are then available for   donation to educational institutions, public bodies and nonprofit   tax-exempt organizations in the United States.


Smallest Book

The smallest book in the Library of Congress is “Old King   Cole.” It is 1/25” x 1/25”, or about the size of the period at the end   of this sentence.

Largest Book

The largest book in the Library of Congress is a 5-by-7 foot   book featuring color images of Bhutan. With support from Microsoft, a   team of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recorded   the ancient life and culture in this Southeast Asian country and made   40,000 digital images available to the Bhutan National Archives. A copy   of the picture book was donated to the Library of Congress.