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One hundred and fourteen years ago today, President John Adams signed a bill transferring the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new U.S. capitol in Washington, D.C.  The bill included a  $5,000 appropriation for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress”, thus establishing the Library of Congress.

After invading British troops burned the Capitol in 1814, destroying the small Library of Congress, retired President Thomas Jefferson offered his substantial library of nearly 6,500 volumes as a replacement.  Jefferson believed that all subjects should be included in the Library and his collection served as the beginnings of a world renowned collection.

Realizing the importance of legal information, Congress established its Law Library in 1832.  According to the latest Annual report of the Librarian of Congress the most recent appropriation for the Library of Congress was $629.2 Million to support the 838 miles of shelved materials.

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