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Wartime Reading

Thomas Jefferson believed "there is … no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer." His broad approach to book collecting shaped the holdings of the Library of Congress, which Congress established as a resource for its members. Many senators and representatives were voracious readers. During the Civil War, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner—a staunch abolitionist who later introduced bills for the Freedmen's Bureau and Thirteenth Amendment—borrowed hundreds of works of literature, philosophy, and history from the congressional library.

1 Image Loan Receipt Book "M" (1863-1867), Loans to Senator Charles... View All Images
2 Images Battle-fields of the South from Bull Run to Fredericksburg...by An... View All Images
1 Image Photograph, "Old Congressional Library, main hall, looking south... View All Images