Friday, February 19, 2010

Thomas Jefferson's Library Is Being Recreated

The Library of Congress is attempting to reassemble Thomas Jefferson's original library sold to Congress in 1815 for $23,950. Jefferson had the largest and perhaps the finest personal collection of books in the country which he offered to the United States government to replace the holdings in the Capitol that were burned by the British in 1814. His book collection became the foundation of the Library of Congress. A second fire on Christmas Eve of 1851 destroyed nearly two thirds of the 6,487 volumes Congress purchased from Jefferson. He never used the word "sold" when referring to the transaction but used "ceded" instead.

Does anyone know if there is a list of the books they are missing? I would gladly donate any volumes I might have in my personal library of antiquarian books to this worthy cause. Read more. I love stories like this, don't you?

Proclaiming that "I cannot live without books," Jefferson began a second collection of several thousand books, which was sold at auction in 1829 to help satisfy his creditors.


Stated in a letter to John Adams dated June 10, 1815.

Have a great weekend, Rosemary.


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1 comment:

AshTreeCottage said...

It is so very sad that we have lost so many treasures to fire. Think of the treasures lost in the fire of London. I wish that I had a list of the books lost from the library in Alexandria, Egypt.

Love,
Susan and Bentley
xxoo