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Library of Congress

The United States Library of Congress is one of the most important libraries in the world. Originally founded as a research library[?] for the United States Congress in 1815, its original collection were the books of former president Thomas Jefferson. Later the Library assumed a role as a legal repository to guarantee copyright protection. All authors seeking American copyright had to submit two copies of the work to the Library. This requirement is no longer enforced.

The Library also developed a system of book classification called Library of Congress classification (LC) which is used by most research and university libraries[?], although most public libraries continue to use the Dewey decimal system.

The Library is still supported by funding from Congress and maintains three impressive buildings in Washington, D.C. It contains many important books and collections, such as a Gutenberg Bible[?].

With over 115 million items, it claims to be one of the largest libraries in the history of the world. Its size is surpassed only by the British Library, which contains over 150 million items.

See also: Library of Congress Country Studies

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