Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy Birthday Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson, Thomas (1743–1826) American Statesman and Book Collector

In honor of his birthday today and to further celebrate National Library Week: This is from Oxford Digital Reference Shelf:

Throughout his public career, Jefferson collected books. His earliest library, chiefly of professional and legal books, was burnt in 1770. In 1815, he sold his next collection of more than 6,000 books to Congress, after the destruction of the Capitol building and its library by British troops in 1814. Considered one of the finest libraries in North America, it formed the basis for the new Library of Congress. He subsequently assembled a further collection that became part of the University of Virginia Library. Jefferson frequently compiled catalogues of his libraries, dividing books into three categories taken from Francis Bacon’s Advancement of Learning: memory, reason, and imagination.

Suarez, Michael F., and H. R. Woudhuysen. The Oxford Companion to the Book. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2010. Online Book.

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The Library of Congress inside the U.S. Capitol Building c. 1890 

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