The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States of America, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in four buildings in Washington, D.C., as well as the Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virginia, it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and number of books. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress, currently James H. Billington. The Library of Congress was instituted for Congress in 1800, and was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century. After much of the original collection had been destroyed during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson sold 6,487 books, his entire personal collection, to the library in 1815.
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