Thomas Jefferson's Library
When the British burned the original Library of Congress in 1812, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library of over 6,500 books to the government. This wide-ranging collection became the foundation of today's Library of Congress. To make the books that comprised Jefferson’s original collection visible to the public, special highly secure glass cases, arranged in a spiral form, were designed as a permanent installation.
The new U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, opened in late 2008, includes a generously proportioned tunnel connection to the Library of Congress. A series of 13 collage murals are placed along the pathway. Each 4' x 5' panel highlights one of the Library's extraordinary collections.