James Madison’s Notes of Debate in Congress, January 23, 1783
Madison supported establishing a library for Congress so that its members could be well informed. He also felt it was crucial to gather and preserve knowledge that had been written about the nation and the rest of the world.
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
Creating a Knowledge-Based Democracy
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. Recognizing that a democracy cannot succeed without informed and educated citizens, Congress has passed legislation to establish a number of agencies and institutions that preserve and advance knowledge.