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Image description: An illustration from The Rocket Book, an illustrated story published in 1912 that is now available to read online at Read.gov as part of the Library of Congress’s online rare books collection.
Find more books from the Library of Congress that you can read online at Read.gov.

Image description: An illustration from The Rocket Book, an illustrated story published in 1912 that is now available to read online at Read.gov as part of the Library of Congress’s online rare books collection.

Find more books from the Library of Congress that you can read online at Read.gov.

Public libraries have more than just books. You can also borrow DVDs, CDs, and even e-books. Find a library near you. 

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.
Learn more about Jefferson’s library and the history of the Library of Congress.
This photo of the main reading room in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building is from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.

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.

Learn more about Jefferson’s library and the history of the Library of Congress.

This photo of the main reading room in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building is from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.

First Emoji Book in the Library of Congress

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 translation of 'Call me Ishmael.'

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?’”

Learn more about the Library’s acquisition of “Emoji Dick.”

Share Your Thoughts on the Books That Shaped America

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:

  • Catch-22
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Little Women
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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.

View the list of books that shaped America and then take the survey to share your thoughts.