Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

October 19, 1999

Library of Congress Commemorative Stamp Design Is Unveiled

Library of Congress Bicentennial commemorative stampThe design for the Library of Congress Bicentennial commemorative stamp was unveiled on October 14 by the United States Postal Service.

"All of us at the Library of Congress are pleased that our 200th birthday will be commemorated as part of the nation's 2000 stamp program," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

The Library's Bicentennial commemorative stamp was selected for inclusion in the 2000 stamp program from more than 40,000 suggestions for stamps received by the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, a group of independent citizens appointed by the Postmaster General. Ethel Kessler, known for her work as the designer of the breast cancer stamp, designed the Library's stamp, which features a photograph by Michael Freeman of the interior dome and several of the arched windows in the Main Reading Room in the 1897 Thomas Jefferson Building.

The stamp will be issued on the Library's Bicentennial date, April 24, 2000, during a ceremony to be held in the Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C. Second-day issue events are planned in libraries throughout the nation in keeping with the Library's goal of celebrating America's libraries during its Bicentennial year with a theme of "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty."

Founded in 1800, the Library 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 world's largest map, and film and television collections. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of Congress, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site ( and in its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.

"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."

For more information about the stamp and other Bicentennial events visit the Library's Web site.

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PR 99-160
ISSN 0731-3527

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