The Library of Congress today is among the world’s largest. It was established as a reference library in 1800 and occupied one room in the building of the United States Capitol, Washington, DC. The first Capitol’s one-room Library of Congress would become a world-famous institution that now occupies three huge buildings, including the James Madison Memorial Building completed in 1980. These structures hold more than 80 million items in collections of books, newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, films, maps, Band works of drama, music, and art.
The Library’s archives keep a great number of important and exciting documents from American history. Its original purpose was to provide research facilities for members of Congress. There are materials on practically every subject to which members of Congress can refer. Today the library serves the public as well