"Library of Congress Experience" Debuts April 12

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The Library of Congress–the largest library in the world and the oldest U.S. federal cultural institution–on Saturday, April 12, debuts an immersive, new "Library of Congress Experience," offering visitors unique historical and cultural treasures brought to life through cutting-edge interactive technology and a companion Web site.
The experience comprises a series of new ongoing exhibitions, dozens of interactive kiosks, an inspiring multimedia "overture" on the collections and programs of the Library, and a continuing online educational experience at the upcoming Web site myLOC.gov. All exhibits are free and open to the public.
Detailed information on the Experience can be found at a new microsite, www.loc.gov/experience/.

The site also enables the public to participate directly in the Experience by way of "Inspiration Across the Nation." Because the Experience celebrates and showcases the creativity and contributions of our nation’s early cultures, great minds and other founding influences, people nationwide will have the opportunity to submit to the Library their own creative works in the form of stories, poems, video, audio, photos–anything that can be transmitted in an electronic file.
Select entries will be chosen to be part of the Library’s permanent collections, joining the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and other cultural and historic legends.


The Art and Architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building

Visitors to the Library’s historic Thomas Jefferson Building enter directly into the first floor Great Hall via three bronze doors, which will be opened to the public for the first time in nearly two decades on April 12, the day before Jefferson’s 265th birthday.
From there they are directed to one of two orientation galleries flanking the Great Hall, where information about events and how to navigate the new Experience is presented on overhead monitors. A multimedia "overture" plays on a multi-screen collage in each orientation gallery.
There visitors receive a Passport to Knowledge, a guide to the "greatest hits" of the Experience with instructions for self-guided audio tours. Later in 2008, a unique barcode on the Passport to Knowledge will allow visitors to play a game-based activity called Knowledge Quest and to "bookmark" objects of interest for later exploration on a personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.
In the Great Hall, interactive technology allows visitors to zoom in on the artistic and architectural details of the space, and enhances a display of two of the Library’s most prized objects: the Gutenberg Bible and Giant Bible of Mainz.
Creating the United States
On the second floor (mezzanine level) is the new exhibit "Creating the United States", where visitors are first greeted by an interactive video wall that senses their presence and reveals varied historical information based on where the visitor is standing.
"Creating the United States" tells the story of how our Founding Fathers used creativity, collaboration and compromise to form our nation, with a focus on the words and phrases that created the republic. Visitors can examine and interact with historic drafts of the Declaration of Independence, George Washington’s copy of the Constitution and John Beckley’s Bill of Rights.

Thomas Jefferson’s Library

Visitors can explore Thomas Jefferson’s library, featuring thousands of original volumes that provided the foundation for the Library of Congress and its universal collections. They also can navigate books through page-turning technology and learn how one of America’s greatest thinkers was inspired.
Exploring the Early Americas

The Library of Congress Experience incorporates the "Exploring the Early Americas" exhibit, which opened in December 2007.

The exhibition tells the story of the Americas before the time of Columbus, as well as the period of contact, conquest and their aftermath. It features unique objects from the Library’s Jay I. Kislak Collection, as well as Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 Map of the World, the first document to use the word "America."
More details can be found at:


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