Contact: John Sayers (202) 707-9216

October 8, 1999

C-SPAN "American Presidents" Video Available on Library Web Site

The Library of Congress has made available on its Web site ( a series of video segments from "American Presidents: Life Portraits," produced by the C-SPAN public service cable network.

From the launch of "American Presidents: Life Portraits" on March 15, 1999, C-SPAN has relied on the Library of Congress for guest experts and documentary materials. The series includes interviews with Library of Congress curators and makes extensive use of the Library's manuscript collections, which include the papers of 23 presidents.

Video segments on presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James Polk, Millard Filmore, James Garfield, Chester Arthur, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley and Woodrow Wilson are currently available through the Library's Web site. New segments will go on-line as they are produced and aired by C-SPAN.

In November, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington will lead C-SPAN on a tour of the stacks of the Library's Manuscript Division. This is a rare opportunity to see original presidential letters, diaries, speeches and other official documents. Phone lines will be open for viewers to talk with the Librarian and his team of presidential experts. For more information on this special program, see the Library's regularly updated Web site, "The Library Today," at

The Library of Congress, founded April 24, 1800, is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It preserves a collection of 115 million items -- more than two-thirds of which are in media other than books. These include the largest map and film and television collections in the world. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of the U.S. Congress, the Library serves all Americans in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning Web site and popular American Memory digital collections.

"We will celebrate with pride our first 200 years of Library history," said Dr. Billington. "During that time, the Library has grown into the world's largest repository of knowledge and creativity, which it has preserved for all generations of Americans. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to energize national awareness of the critical role that all libraries play in keeping the spirit of creativity and free inquiry alive in our society."

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PR 99-138
ISSN 0731-3527

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