On Libraries

And this is exactly why I want to work for the Library of Congress. Beautiful, amazing, and historical.

This One Life

In 1814, when the British army burned the Congressional Library in Washington, Jefferson offered to sell his substantial collection of 6,700 volumes. The books were hauled in wagons from Monticello to Washington, where they became the foundation for the Library of Congress. Perhaps there were too many volumes to keep the simple small-medium-large arrangement at home, because Jefferson proposed a classification scheme he adapted from Francis Bacon’s The Advancement of Learning, in which books were organized within the broad categories of Memory, Reason, and Imagination, poetic divisions I’d like to see bookstores adopt today. It might take longer to find what you’re looking for, but in browsing, who knows what you’d find.

Allison Hoover Bartlett
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

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