Sunday, June 24, 2012

Library of Congress Picks 'Books That Shaped America'

"Once you learn to read, you will be forever free." ~ Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass' Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave has been selected as one of the "Books That Shaped America," as determined by the Library of Congress. The 1845 memoir of the celebrated orator and abolitionist will be on display with other influential titles on the second floor of LC's Thomas Jefferson Building, in the Southwest Gallery, starting June 25.

According to a Library of Congress press release, "the exhibition is part of a larger series of programs, symposia and other events that explore the important and varied ways that books influence our lives." Many of the titles on display in the Jefferson Building are from LC's Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Viewing hours are 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Saturday.

The public is encouraged to comment on the books on display and to submit their choices for "Books That Shaped America" to the Library of Congress at THIS LINK.

"This list of 'Books That Shaped America' is a starting point," stated James H. Billington, a librarian at the Library of Congress. "It is not a register of the 'best' American books - although many of them fit that description. Rather, the list is intended to spark a national conversation on books written by Americans that have influenced our lives."

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