Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191, Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

March 27, 1997

On-Line Preview Heralds "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" Exhibition

An on-line preview of the upcoming exhibition "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" will be available on the World Wide Web beginning March 27.

The preview heralds the Library's exhibition of the same name, which features American books, films, photographs, music scores, cartoons, drawings, manuscripts and such objects as the contents of Abraham Lincoln's pockets the night he was assassinated.

"This preview is an introduction to the cultural treasures that the nation's library holds in trust for all Americans. We hope it will entice visitors to see the exhibition and the gloriously restored Jefferson Building," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The preview will feature selected items biweekly, beginning with one of the Library's top treasures, the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson's own hand with notations by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams. Every two weeks, three new items will be added to the preview site until the exhibition opens in May. Among the preview items will be the lab notebook of Alexander Graham Bell, Maya Lin's design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and what may be the first surviving baseball card.

The items will be added from each of three areas in the actual exhibition: "Memory," "Reason" and "Imagination," reflecting the organization of Thomas Jefferson's personal library, which, when sold to the Library in 1815, became the seed of the present collections.

This permanently rotating exhibition and the on-line preview are made possible by generous support from the Xerox Corporation. "American Treasures" will be the centerpiece of a yearlong celebration marking the official reopening of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building during its 100th anniversary year.

The continuing exhibition will be on view in the newly restored Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The preview will be available on the Library's World Wide Web site at

Color slides of many of the items in the preview and exhibition are available from the Public Affairs Office. Please call (202) 707-9191 to request reproductions.

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PR 97-43
ISSN 0731-3527

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