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  The Library of Congress
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The Lirbary of Congress

Welcome to the Library of Congress Office of Development Web site!

As you surf our site, you will discover the many ways private donors have supported the work of the Library. Many of our unique collections, including manuscripts, books, motion pictures, sound recordings, photographs and prints, maps, and musical scores — as well as other formats — came to the Library as gifts. The establishment of endowment funds by major donors, and the many gifts to these funds by other donors, have allowed the Library to preserve these collections for future generations, feature them in special exhibitions, discuss them in scholarly conferences and symposia, and make them more accessible to the nation through television programming, special publications and the Internet.

Although the Library has been the recipient of many gifts since it was founded in 1800, the Development Office did not exist until 1987 the year the current Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, arrived. In that year private gifts to the Library were less than $1 million. Since 1987, private donations have totaled more than $250 million. These gifts have made an incredible difference to the Library. For example, private donations help support the National Digital Library Program, allowing us to make our unique American collections available to the public on our Library of Congress Web site. We now have approximately 7.5 million of the Library's most important documents and audiovisual materials from its American collections available in digital form over the Internet. Private gifts provided the resources to produce a film that introduces new visitors to the Library; to sponsor a national tour of films from our collections that are on the National Film Registry; to reprint some 19th-century children's books; and to publish illustrated guides to our special collections. And these are just a sampling of the more than 100 Library programs and initiatives that have been supported by private gifts during the past few years. Our current funding initiatives are especially important to the nation and I hope you will take the time to review them under the projects of interest.

I hope you enjoy your visit to our Web site and that you will bookmark it as one of your "favorites." There is much to learn about the Library and the many gifts that have helped to shape it. If you are a donor, please accept our thanks for your support. If you would like to join our efforts by making a charitable contribution, or if you would like further assistance in making or planning a gift, please contact us.

Charles V. Stanhope
Director of the Development Office