1900-1999

1900-1999

  • 1901 – Library of Congress – On Oct. 28, the Library announces that its printed catalog cards are now available for sale to libraries around the world.
  • 1903 – Library of Congress – President Theodore Roosevelt issues an executive order on March 9 directing the transfer of the records of the Continental Congress and the personal papers of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, James Monroe and Benjamin Franklin from the State Department to the Library. The Library is home to the papers of 23 U.S. presidents.
  • 1921 – Library of Congress – President Warren G. Harding issues an executive order on Sept. 29 that transfers the original copies of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution to the Library for their safekeeping and display. The two documents are sent to their permanent home in the National Archives in 1952.
  • 1930 – Library of Congress – On July 3, $1.5 million is appropriated for the purchase of the Vollbehr collection of incunabula, which includes the first Gutenberg Bible in the Western Hemisphere.
  • 1931 – Library of Congress -The Pratt-Smoot Act, enacted on March 3, enables the Library to provide books for the use of adult blind readers of the United States and its territories. This act was the origin of the Library’s National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.
  • 1939 – Library of Congress – A new Library Annex Building—later designated the John Adams Building—is opened to the general public on Jan. 3.
  • 1944 – Library of Congress – The ballet “Appalachian Spring,” commissioned by the Library, premiers in the Coolidge Auditorium on Oct. 30, with a performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company to the music of Aaron Copland.
  • 1946 – Library of Congress – The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 is approved on Aug. 2, giving the Library’s Legislative Reference Service (LRS) permanent status as a separate Library department and providing for the hiring of nationally eminent specialists in 19 broad subject fields. The LRS was the precursor to today’s Congressional Research Service at the Library.
  • 1950 – Library of Congress – The Library celebrates its sesquicentennial on April 24.
  • 1954 – Library of Congress – The Library receives the Brady-Handy photographic collection on Sept. 13, containing more than 3,000 negatives made by Civil War photographer Mathew B. Brady and several thousand by his nephew Levin C. Handy.
  • 1958 – Library of Congress – In January, Librarian of Congress L. Quincy Mumford establishes an interdepartmental Committee on Mechanized Information Retrieval to study the “problem of applying machine methods to the control of the Library’s collections.”
  • 1958 – Library of Congress – President Dwight D. Eisenhower approves an amendment to the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (popularly known as Public Law 480) on Sept. 6, which greatly strengthens the overseas acquisition program of the Library of Congress.
  • 1966 – Library of Congress – The Library opens its first National Program for Acquisitions and Cataloging (NPAC) office in London in June. The first regional office opens in October in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1969 – Library of Congress – With the mailing of the first computer tapes containing cataloging data on March 27, the Machine-Readable Cataloging (MARC) Distribution Service is inaugurated.
  • 1972 – India – Dr. S. R. Ranganathan – On 27 September 1972, Dr. S. R. Ranganathan died. Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan (12 August 1892 – 27 September 1972) spearheaded library development movement in India.
  • 1980 – Library of Congress – The third major Library building on Capitol Hill, the James Madison Memorial Building, opens to the public on May 28. Later that year, the original 1897 Library building is renamed the Thomas Jefferson Building and its second building, opened in 1939, is designated the John Adams Building.
  • 1981 – Library of Congress – The Library stops filing cards into its main card catalog, and begins online cataloging of its collections officially on Jan. 1.
  • 1991 – COMPASS (Computer Aided Subject System) – BNB (British National Bibliography)  – Computer Aided Subject System (COMPASS) was introduced for BNB in 1991 and PRECIS  was dropped.
  • 1994 – Library of Congress – At the dawn of the Internet era, the Library launches its website at www.loc.gov along with its National Digital Library program aimed at digitizing primary sources related to the study of American history.
  • 1995 – Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) – COMPASS (Computer Aided Subject System) – BNB (British National Bibliography)  – Computer Aided Subject System (COMPASS) was replaced by Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in 1995. With the introduction of a COMPASS, BNB stopped including LCSH headings until protests from the users finally led to their reintroduction in 1995. With the substitution of LCSH for COMPASS  in 1995, the classified arrangement has no index at all. As a result, BNB no longer shows any direct translation of the notations.
  • 1999 – Library of Congress – Metromedia president John W. Kluge donates $60 million to establish the John W. Kluge Center for Scholars and Prize in the Human Sciences on Oct. 5. It is the largest private monetary gift in the Library’s history.