Celebrating 220 Years of the Library of Congress!

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The Library of Congress was founded on April 24, 1800, to provide books for Congress’s use. Over time, its mission expanded, allowing it to be viewed as a national institution and, therefore, the national library. The current building was completed and opened to the public in 1897. Since then, the library’s offerings and resources have greatly expanded to the Library of Congress that we know today.

Today’s Library of Congress offers a wealth of educational resources, many of which are available from our own homes. Whether you’re looking for resources about reading, poetry, history, science, or something else, the Library of Congress has you covered. Interacting with the Library remotely has never been easier:

  • There are several blogs about an enormous variety of topics available that you can subscribe to.
  •  If you have a question and can’t find the answer or are having difficulty with your research, a librarian can help through the Ask A Librarian feature.
  • You can even virtually volunteer to assist the Library by transcribing, reviewing, and tagging Library of Congress documents.

The Library of Congress also offers many resources designed exclusively for teachers. Of course, there are resources for teaching with primary sources, which include their primary source analysis tool/ guides, the teaching with primary sources journal, and primary source sets for a variety of topics. The Library also offers an array of ready-made lesson plans on a variety of historical and cultural topics. If you are looking for something to teach about and need an idea, you should read a few posts from the entertaining and informative Teaching with the Library of Congress blog. The Library offers many civics interactives, developed in conjunction with other organizations, to use with students. If you need professional development, the Library produces videos, webinars, workshops, and summer institutes. You can stay on top of what the Library offers for teachers by follow them on Twitter at @TeachingLC!

Celebrate the Library of Congress’s 220th birthday by exploring their resources, watching the virtual tour at the beginning of this post, or checking out some of their exhibits online. Don’t forget to check out the Library of Congress resources reviewed by TeachersFirst and our past  TeachersFirst blog posts featuring Library of Congress resources.

How do you use the Library of Congress resources in your classroom? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!


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