Library of Congress Is Bursting at Seams

Associated Press says The space problem began 200 years ago and has only worsened as the library accumulated 127 million items, with 10,000 more coming in every working day.

Most of the books are in the Madison Building, which is among Washington’s biggest but can’t come close to meeting the needs of the world’s largest library collection. To handle some of the millions of items, the library is building warehouses at Fort Meade, Md., 30 miles from Capitol Hill. The first of what could be as many as 13 buildings is finished and already almost half-full. About 500,000 volumes have been trucked from Washington – 2,500 a day.

About twice as far in the opposite direction, storage is being developed at Culpeper, Va., for the library’s audiovisual material – such as recordings of Elvis Presley and Theodore Roosevelt, and movies of Thomas Edison and Ronald Reagan.

Facts, Figures on Library of Congress