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Library of Congress Experience

The new exhibitions enhanced by interactive technology will offer the public a chance to experience rare and unique items, such as the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, the Gutenberg Bible, the 1507 Waldseemuller map that first named America and Thomas Jefferson’s recreated library.

Each exhibit offers a new technological slant that make each more accessible and engaging to the visitor and scholar alike.

Interactive stations will offer a panoramic view of the Great Hall. Visitors will be able to zoom in on architectural details and explore the significance of features including the Minerva mosaic and the lamps of knowledge.

Through these interactive stations, visitors will be able to page virtually through the LOC’s copy of the Gutenberg Bible and the Giant Bible of Mainz using state-of-the-art technology. They can also learn about the importance of these historic documents and browse through other significant bibles in the Library’s collection.

Using nine interactive touch-screens as well as “hands-on” stations, visitors can virtually and physically delve deeper into the collection and explore the history it represents. Visitors can examine individual objects in detail, view select artifacts from every angle, flip through documents using page-turning technology and zoom in on details of numerous images.

The Library of Congress has recreated the Thomas Jefferson Library. On display for study and exploration are 6,487 volumes housed in a large spiral-shaped bookcase, including more than 2,000 surviving volumes from Jefferson’s original collection.

Visitors can review Jefferson’s cataloging system and virtually explore select books, as well as learn about the interests and ideas that shaped his thinking. Visitors will also learn about the Library’s history, how Jefferson’s Library transformed the Library of Congress and gain insight into how Jefferson selected books for his personal library.