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Image description: Happy 213th birthday to the Library of Congress! It was established on April 24, 1800.
After the original library was lost to fire during the War of 1812, Congress purchased Thomas Jefferson’s personal library, which became the foundation of the modern Library.
This photo of the main reading room in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building is from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.
The Library of Congress recently added its first all emoji book to its collection, “Emoji Dick” by Fred Benenson which is a retelling of “Moby Dick.”
Emoji are the little symbols like smiley faces and hearts that you may have seen used in text messages or on social media.
Benenson funded his book through a Kickstarter campaign and then had thousands of people translate one sentence of Moby Dick into emoji.
Michael Neubert, a recommending officer for the Library of Congress’ collections, said, “There is, in the literal sense, no other book in the Library’s collections like it. What is striking for the Library’s collections about this work is that it takes a known classic of literature and converts it to a construct of our modern way of communicating, making possible an investigation of the question, ‘is it still a literary classic when written in a kind of smart phone based pidgin language?’”
The Library of Congress recently launched a new exhibition about Books That Shaped America. It features influential books that were written by Americans, such as:
Currently, there are 88 books on the list and the Library of Congress hopes you will select the ones that you think shaped America and touched your life the most. They also want you to nominate books that you think are important, but aren’t on the list.