Department of Library & Information Science


  • 1800 – Library of Congress – The Library of Congress was established as the fledgling legislature of the new Republic prepared to move from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. On April 24, 1800, Pres. John Adams approved legislation that appropriated $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”
  • 1802 – Library of Congress – President Thomas Jefferson approves a compromise act of Congress on Jan. 26 which states that the President of the United States will appoint the Librarian of Congress.
  • 1812 – Library of Congress – The first classified Library catalog is published. It lists 3,076 volumes, and 53 maps, charts, and plans. An adjustment in the Library’s rules exempts members of Congress from overdue fines.
  • 1814 – Library of Congress – In retaliation for the capture of York and the burning of its parliamentary building by American forces, the British capture Washington on Aug. 24 and burn the Capitol, destroying the Library of Congress.
  • 1815 – Library of Congress – On Jan. 26, the House of Representatives approves the purchase of Jefferson’s 6,487-volume personal library for $23,950 to replace the collection lost in the fire.
  • 1815 – Library of Congress – Jefferson’s Library – On January 30, 1815, President James Madison approved an act of Congress appropriating $23,950 to purchase Thomas Jefferson’s library of 6,487 volumes.
  • 1851 – Library of Congress – An accidental fire in the Library on Christmas Eve destroys approximately 35,000 volumes, including nearly two-thirds of Jefferson’s library.
  • 1853 – Library of Congress – Designed by Architect of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter, a newly remodeled fireproof iron room for the Library opens on Aug. 23 in the Capitol’s west front. It is widely admired and becomes a tourist attraction.
  • 1870 – Library of Congress – On July 8, President Ulysses S. Grant approves an act of Congress that centralizes all U.S. copyright registration and deposit activities at the Library of Congress.
  • 1871 – Library of Congress – Librarian Ainsworth Rand Spofford informs Congress on Dec. 1 that the rapid flow of copyright deposits into the Library’s rooms in the Capitol will soon necessitate a separate Library building.
  • 1892 – India – Dr. S. R. Ranganathan – On 12 August 1892, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan was born in India –  Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan (12 August 1892 – 27 September 1972) spearheaded library development movement in India.
  • 1897 – Library of Congress – After years of overcrowding in the Capitol, the monumental new Library building—now known as the Thomas Jefferson Building—officially opens to the public on Nov. 1.
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