The Library of Congress was founded in 1800. During the War of 1812, the British lay waste to the Library on 24 August, 1814 when they torched the Capital. One month later Thomas Jefferson offered his personal library for sale to the Congress to reextablish the library which went on to become one of the world's great cultural institutions.
It is the largest library in the world.
"Today's Library of Congress is an unparalleled world resource. The collection of more than 130 million items includes more than 29 million cataloged books and other print materials in 460 languages; more than 58 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America; and the world's largest collection of legal materials, films, maps, sheet music and sound recordings."
"Of the original 6,487 volumes that Jefferson had sold to Congress in 1815, only about 2,000 remained following the fire that started from a faulty chimney flue on a frigid Christmas Eve morning, at 7:30 a.m., Dec. 24, 1851, and spread through the congressional library housed in the Capitol"
Jefferson's library has been painstakingly rebuilt.