Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Goal...The Destination...The Library of Congress

We say we write because we love to write (and I'm sure that is true), but ultimately I think all writers want to have a copy of their manuscript in the Library of Congress.

If you are planning a trip to Washington DC, call your congressman and get a tour. It's an overwhelmingly beautiful building. It contains a copy of all copyrighted manuscripts in the US. Isn't that cool? When your book is published, it will be in the company of so many great books. I'm guessing they are organized by last name. So who will you be by in the Library of Congress? Does anyone know how they organize them? Are they by genre? Are they in a file cabinet? These are some of the questions I should have asked when we toured.

The above photograph is of a Christmas card a dear friend sent me after my trip to DC. She knew that tour was the highlight of my trip.

Has anyone else been to the Library of Congress? Do you know the answers to any of my questions? Do you have a manuscript there? Do tell...


  1. I had no idea! Thanks for that wonderful piece of information! Very cool!

  2. From what I understand, when you apply for a copyright that is where you apply and they keep a copy of your manuscript on file there. You don't want to get a copyright until the book is going to press and there will be no more changes. (Here's my disclaimer: I have not published a book, so I my knowledge is hear say.) I believe that this is taken care of by the publisher, but I'm not positive about the process. Perhaps someone with more knowledge can weigh in on this with us....

  3. I wonder if they still use the dewey decimal system? It is great information that you are sharing I do not think about this very often. On a Christmas card is something I have never heard of as well.

  4. Tom - I'm sure they do for nonfiction. The card is a pop up card. Very pretty and elegant. I bought a Christmas ornament that was made from the old roof of the Library of Congress. Anyone can use the Library of Congress. You have to register as a researcher to use it. Then you get an identification card. If we had been there longer, I would have registered. Maybe next time...