Press Contact: Jeff Pines (202) 707-9216

August 8, 1994

Library of Congress Publishes Annual Report for 1992

The Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress for 1992 has just been released for public acquisition. Earlier it was submitted to Congress by Librarian James H. Billington and accepted by the legislative body. The Library, created by act of Congress in 1800, is the federal government's oldest cultural institution. The report, for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1992, describes the Library's activities in its three buildings in southeast Washington, D.C., and in national and international outreach programs.

Of particular note in 1992 were the Library's programs to process and protect its collection of more than 100 million items and to introduce worldwide electronic access to its exhibitions.

The Library met its goal of reducing its arrearage of unprocessed materials by 5.7 million items during fiscal 1992, leaving a total of 33.6 million items still to be processed as the fiscal year ended.

After the discovery of thefts and mutilations of materials in its collections, the Library introduced several measures to tighten security of its collections. During 1992 the Library closed all stacks except to employees with work-related needs for access. Electronic theft detection gates were placed at every Library exit.

Images and text from two major exhibitions were made available on-line throughout the world during 1992. One of the exhibitions was "1492: An Ongoing Voyage," which marked the high point of the Library's multiyear commemoration of the Columbus quincentenary. Drawing largely from the Library's collections, the bilingual Spanish/English exhibition included maps and globes, prints and documents, books and codices, three- dimensional objects, and navigational tools that depicted the Americas and the Mediterranean world at the time of Columbus's voyages. Images from the quincentenary exhibition were made available to users of the Internet and America Online.

Selected images and text from "Revelations from the Russian Archives," an exhibition of 300 previously secret documents from the Communist Archives of the former Soviet Union, also were made available worldwide to users of the Internet, America Online, and Sovset systems.

The 1992 annual report provides detailed descriptions of these and other Library activities for the year. It was prepared by James W. McClung, who retired late last year as special assistant in the Office of Communications, and edited by Sara Day of the Publishing Office.

The 77-page, paperbound publication is available from the Superintendent of Documents, PO Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250- 7954, for $3.75. Cite stock number 030-000-00258-2 when ordering.

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PR 94-121
ISSN 0731-3527

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