The Bible and the Library of Congress

With over 800 miles of bookshelves it’s the largest library in the world. The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, founded in 1800, is also the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation!

But did you know that two great Bibles face one another in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress? The Giant Bible of Mainz—signifying the end of the handwritten book— and the Gutenberg Bible—signifying the beginning of the printing revolution!

And did you know that the Library’s rare-book collection includes the first known book printed in North America, The Bay Psalm Book of 1640? Or that the Library displays 100 of what are considered “extremely” rare children’s books, including “The Children’s Bible” printed in Philadelphia in 1763?


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