Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

June 11, 1996

Library Of Congress Publishes Annual Report For 1995

The Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress for 1995 has just been released to the public. It was submitted to Congress earlier by Librarian James H. Billington and accepted by the legislative body. The report, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1995, describes the Library's activities in Washington and in national and international outreach programs.

Of particular note in the Librarian's report is the high level of service to Congress during a year marked by a change in congressional leadership. The Congressional Research Service responded to 592,731 requests and provided timely and objective analysis of a wide range of legislative issues such as welfare and health care reform. In response to a request from House congressional leadership for an Internet-accessible legislative information system, the Library developed the THOMAS system. On January 5, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) unveiled the system, which is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, to Internet users throughout the world at http://thomas.loc.gov. On July 11, the Library celebrated the 125th anniversary of the landmark legislation that placed the U.S. Copyright Office in the Library of Congress. Approximately 800,000 items are added annually to the Library's collection through the copyright registration and deposit process.

During the year, the size of the Library's collection grew to 108,433,370 items (an increase of more than 600,000 items) while its arrearage of unprocessed material was reduced by 2.5 million items. The holdings of the Manuscript Division were strengthened by microfilming papers of the Marquis de Lafayette (18,000 items) from the collection of the Comte de Chambrun. The Manuscript Division also recovered four Walt Whitman notebooks, missing since World War II.

The National Digital Library Program was launched in October 1994, with the goal of digitizing 5 million items from the Library's core American history collections by the year 2000. A public-private partnership was formed to raise the $60 million needed to achieve this goal. By year's end, the private sector had made gifts and pledges of nearly $19 million, while Congress had earmarked the first installment of $3 million for fiscal year 1996.

On September 7 and 8, the Library welcomed President Jean Favier of the BibliothSque nationale de France for a preview of the major exhibition, "Creating French Culture: Treasures from the BibliothSque Nationale de France." Brief displays of the Gettysburg Address and Thomas Jefferson's working draft of the Declaration of Independence also drew large crowds. These three exhibitions, along with two others, were made available on the Library's World Wide Web site, bringing the total to 10 on-line exhibitions.

Civilization, the Magazine of the Library of Congress, made its debut in October 1994, and amassed 200,000 subscribers during its first year of publication.

At year's end, the Library engaged consultants to assess its long-term collections security program. The Library effected several additional security measures such as a substantive reduction in the number of people with authorized access to the general collection stacks and the placement of antitheft targets in an additional 1.8 million books (bringing the total of targeted volumes to more than 3 million).

These and other activities are described in the 1995 report, which has been expanded to include extensive appendices and statistics. The 174 page paperbound publication is available from the Superintendent of Documents, PO Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, for $7.50. Cite stock number S/N 030-000-00272-5 when ordering.

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PR 96-87
6/11/96
ISSN 0731-3527

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