The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE  - Current Edition

A Goddess in the Library . . . Minerva

An impressive mosaic of the goddess Minerva greets visitors who rise to the top of the stairs in the Library's Great Hall on their way to the Main Reading Room visitors' gallery. The mosaic was created for the 1897 Thomas Jefferson Building by Elihu Vedder. On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was founded. It was housed in the U.S. Capitol for 97 years, until the Jefferson Building opened. You can wish the Library a happy birthday in spirit by taking a virtual tour of the Thomas Jefferson Building. You will see the mosaic of Minerva on second floor (click on the image for a close-up view of the mosaic), as well as the magnificent Main Reading Room and other spaces, some of which are rarely seen by the public.

�Minerva� by Elihu Vedder Dome of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress

The Jefferson Building is filled with beautiful and symbolic imagery as well as quotations on its walls that pay tribute to knowledge and the arts. You can read about them in On These Walls: Inscriptions and Quotations in the Buildings of the Library of Congress, by John Y. Cole, director of the Library's Center for the Book. The Center for the Book, through its national center at the Library of Congress and its 50 state Centers for the Book, promotes reading and literacy nationwide. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have their own Center for the Book. Find out about exciting reading programs in your state at the state center affiliates page.

The Library Today Web site is a portal to the news, events and features of your nation's library. Here you can read the monthly Library of Congress Information Bulletin, read News from the Library of Congress or view a Webcast at CyberLC. If you will be visiting the Library in person, go to the Calendar of Events, where you will find information about the lectures, concerts, poetry readings, film screenings, exhibitions and other fascinating programs freely offered year round.

A. "Minerva" by Elihu Vedder

B. Dome of the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, which rises 160 feet above the floor below, as seen from the Visitors' Gallery.

The Library of Congress | Contact Us
The Library Today. Find the latest news, events, Cybercasts, Calendar of Events, exhibitions, policy information and more about the Library of Congress.