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Photographer's Note

This is the ceiling and skylight in the main rotunda (not the Reading Room) of the Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress was housed in the Capitol building until 1814, when it was burned by the British. After that, Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library as a replacement (he is quoted as saying at the time "I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection; there is, in fact, no subject to which a Member of Congress may not have occasion to refer." I doubt that statement is true today; our current Congress seems to have precious little interest in education of any variety.)

Finally, in the late 1800s, Congress authorized construction of a permanent building to house the library; it was finished in 1893, sitting just to the east of the Capitol building, next to the U.S. Supreme Court (which was actually built after this building). The original building is named the Jefferson Building; Jefferson's original library is on public view in the library. Since then, many additional buildings have become part of the complex, but the Jefferson building is the most interesting and ornate, and the only one that is open to the public.

Noel_Byrne, Giustiniani, SnapRJW, delpeoples, jcpix, cornejo, macjake has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Roger Lipsett (rogerl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 0 N: 270] (1544)
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