Press Contact: John Sullivan (202) 707-9216, Lucy Suddreth (202) 707-9191

April 30, 1993

New History of Library of Congress Published To Launch Library's Bicentennial Decade

The Library has just published "Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress," by John Y. Cole, the director of the Center for the Book. A well-illustrated, 103- page book aimed at the general reader, "Jefferson's Legacy" summarizes the history of the Library from 1800 to 1992. It also contains sections on the institution's collections, its buildings, and the 13 Librarians of Congress, from John Beckley (1802-1807) through James H. Billington, who took office in 1987.

"If ever a library had a single founder, Thomas Jefferson is the founder of the Library of Congress," states Dr. Billington in his preface. Pointing out that the Library, "America's oldest national cultural institution," will be 200 years old in the year 2000, Dr. Billington notes that in its bicentennial decade, "the Library of Congress will honor its founder and renew its commitment to the knowledge-based society that Jefferson envisioned."

John Y. Cole, a historian and librarian, has been on the staff of the Library of Congress since 1966 and director of the Center for the Book since it was established in 1977. His many writings about the history of the Library include "For Congress and the Nation: A Chronological History of the Library of Congress" (1979) and "The Nation's Reading Rooms" in Washington, D.C.: A Smithsonian Book of the Nation's Capital (1992).

The publication of "Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress" was supported by the Madison Council, a national, private-sector advisory group dedicated to helping the Library share its unique resources with the nation and the world. The price is $9.50 and it may be purchased in person at the Library of Congress Sales Shop or ordered prepaid from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20422. The stock number, 030-001-00142-3, should be cited in mail orders.

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PR 93-068
ISSN 0731-3527

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