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Rebuilding the Nation's Library

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Letter from John Silva Meehan,...
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Letter from John Silva Meehan, Librarian of Congress, to Senator James Alfred Pearce of Maryland, January 7, 1852

John Silva Meehan, head of the Library of Congress from 1829 to 1861, reported on the extent of the damage from the 1851 fire to Senator James Alfred Pearce, chair of the Joint Committee on the Library. Meehan cited items that were destroyed or saved. The titles represent knowledge in diverse fields, reflecting Congress’s broad collecting philosophy for its library.

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The books that are saved, belong to Chapter 1, Ancient History…Chapter 5, Ecclesiastical History.—Chapter 8, Chemistry… Chapter 16, Ethics; section 1, Moral Philosophy…Chapter 17, Religion…

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress