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www.bl.uk – The British Library as it is now came into existence in July of 1973 as a result of The British Library Act that was passed in 1972. Incorporated into the new institution were the library departments of the British Museum (founded in 1753 and already one of the world’s greatest libraries), the National Central Library, and the National Lending Library for Science & Technology (the center for interlibrary lending, located at Boston Spa in Yorkshire). In 1974 the British National Bibliography and the Office for Scientific and Technical Information became part of the UK’s new national library. The main library is now in St. Pancras in the King’s Cross area of London. (Paraphrased from their website)
www.loc.gov – The Library of Congress, the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States, serves as the research arm of Congress, and is also the largest library in the world with more than 126 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. The collections include nearly 19 million books, 2.6 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.8 million maps, and 56 million manuscripts. The Library’s mission is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. (Paraphrased from their website)
www.themorgan.org – Originally the private library and museum of J.P. Morgan, it was transformed into a public institution in 1924 by his son and heir, J.P. Morgan, Jr. One of the most important rare book and manuscript collections in the world.