I admit, this is pretty much the opposite of ‘lost.’ In fact, if you want to see the Library of Congress, particularly the main reading room, today’s your chance. So, to marginally justify the title, I will leave here a couple of pictures from their open house in February 2011.
The Library of Congress, while continually expanding its mission to be truly our country’s library, can not forget its core mission: To supply Congress and anyone who works there with the information they need to run the country. This means that certain parts of the library are closed to the public for the simple reason that they are needed for its main task.
Twice a year, however, on Presidents Day and Columbus Day, the librarians open their doors to anyone who wants to see the library up close.
One of the rooms open is the card catalog, which was until 1986 the primary way to find books in the library. It has since been converted to digital, but the old paper copy is kept, just in case errors were made in the transcription. The librarians fought hard for this.
And look! It’s a familiar name in all those cards. This is my grandfather’s doctoral thesis, which has been part of the collection for over 100 years.
Anyway, if you have time between 10 and 3 today, stop by and look behind the scenes at the library – and maybe even find some family history for yourself. The Jefferson Building is on First Street SE, right across from the Capitol.