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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Tour to the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, including the exhibition Exploring the Early Americas.

October 13, 2011

Date: 10/13/2011 Location: Washington, DC Description: Foreign Press Center tour to the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress including the Exhibition exploring the Early Americas. - State Dept Image

October 13, 2011; Washington, DC
Contact: Washington Foreign Press Center Franklin Fellow Jonathan Turner
Telephone: 202-504-6355; email:  

The Foreign Press Center accompanied international media from China, France, Russia, Tajikistan, Uganda and Ukraine to the Library of Congress headquarters at the Thomas Jefferson Building. Originally completed in 1897, the Jefferson Building serves as both an artistic monument to the Fine Arts and the cultural heritage and achievements of the United States and global civilization featuring some of the finest examples architectural, sculptural, painting, mosaic and other arts created by American craftsmen and as the unofficial national library of the United States. An Education Specialist and guide with the Library conducted the Tour, explaining the history, mission, documents, exhibitions, displays as well as the contents of the book and other media catalogues which comprise the Library’s collections as well taking the journalists on a special showing of the Library’s Exploring the Early Americas exhibition. The journalists made many inquiries into President Jefferson’s collection of books which formed the basis of the Library, its founding and history, many of the exhibits in the Library’s collection such as the Mainz and Guttenberg Bibles, the 1507 atlas, known as “America’s birth certificate” and the 1516 Carta Marina world maps by Martin Waldseemüller and the exhibitions on the revolutionary period and the drafting and ratification of the founding documents of the United States.