Which Library is the Largest in the United States?

Quck answer

The largest library in the United States is the Library of Congress. It is located in Washington, D.C. and holds over 170 million items, including books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and recordings. The library serves as a research institution and also provides access to its collections for the public. It is known for its historical significance and houses important documents such as the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. The Library of Congress plays a vital role in preserving and promoting knowledge and culture in the United States.

Have you ever had difficulty locating a specific book or resource in your school library? It’s understandable if you have. Most libraries have a vast collection of books, and librarians are there to assist you in finding what you need.

However, if you believe your school library has a significant number of books, wait until you discover the largest library in the country. Its incredible assortment of books and resources will astonish you!

Which library are we referring to? The Library of Congress, of course! Established in 1800 in Washington, D.C., it is both the largest library in the world in terms of shelf space and number of books.

The Library of Congress serves as the official research library of the United States Congress. It is also recognized as the national library of the U.S. Currently, it consists of three buildings in the nation’s capital.

Initially, the Library of Congress was housed in the U.S. Capitol. It remained there for the majority of the 1800s until it relocated to its present location.

During the War of 1812, most of the library’s original collection was destroyed. However, Thomas Jefferson replenished the library’s collection by selling his personal book collection, which consisted of over 6,000 books, to the library in 1815 for $23,950 (a significant sum of money at that time).

Over time, the Library of Congress continued to expand, eventually encompassing the three buildings it currently occupies. Its primary purpose is to conduct research on behalf of members of Congress.

Although the Library of Congress is open to the public, only a select few individuals are permitted to check out books. This privileged group includes library employees, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and other high-ranking government officials.

In addition to books, the Library of Congress houses a wide range of collections. These collections comprise over 150 million items on more than 800 miles of bookshelves. Included in these items are over 34 million books, over 3 million recordings, over 13 million photographs, over 5 million maps, over 6 million pieces of sheet music, and over 66 million manuscripts!

Among these millions of items are some of the world’s most fascinating and rare books. In fact, the Library of Congress possesses over 700,000 rare books, making it the largest collection in North America.

The smallest book in the Library of Congress is Old King Cole. Measuring just 1/25 inches by 1/25 inches, it is approximately the size of a period at the end of a sentence. Its pages can only be turned using a needle!

The largest book in the Library of Congress is a picture book measuring 5 feet by 7 feet, featuring thousands of color images of Bhutan. Additionally, the Library possesses one of only three perfect copies of the Gutenberg Bible, which is one of the most valuable books in the world.

Give It a Try

Are you ready to visit your local library? Although it may not be the largest library in the world, it could still be quite small. However, that’s perfectly fine. Even the smallest library can provide valuable information and exciting adventures.

If you don’t already have a library card, don’t hesitate to ask for one! A librarian will be delighted to assist you in signing up so that you can take advantage of your local library’s resources.

Discover the Hidden Treasures at Your Local Library

If you are unaware of the wide range of resources offered at your nearby library, don’t hesitate to request a guided tour. Librarians are more than willing to demonstrate that there is much more available than just books.

In addition to an extensive collection of books, many libraries provide a selection of music and movies that can be borrowed. Moreover, you can also take advantage of the available computers. Furthermore, libraries often host special events such as story times and even arts and crafts classes.

Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with your local library! There are few places where you can borrow incredible books, delightful music, and captivating movies without any cost.


1. Where is the largest library in the United States located?

The largest library in the United States is located in Washington, D.C. It is called the Library of Congress.

2. How big is the Library of Congress?

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the United States and one of the largest libraries in the world. It has over 167 million items in its collections, including books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and recordings.

3. What is the history behind the Library of Congress?

The Library of Congress was established in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. It was initially created to serve the needs of Congress, but it has since grown to become a national library, preserving and providing access to a vast collection of materials.

4. Can anyone visit the Library of Congress?

Yes, anyone can visit the Library of Congress. It is open to the public and offers various services and resources, including exhibitions, research facilities, and guided tours.

5. What are some notable features of the Library of Congress?

The Library of Congress is known for its stunning architecture, with its iconic Jefferson Building being a popular attraction. It also houses several special collections, such as the Gutenberg Bible and the personal library of Thomas Jefferson. Additionally, it serves as a research library for scholars and researchers from around the world.

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