Library of Congress
Ainsworth Rand Spofford became a Librarian of Congress
Washington D.C., U.S.
The Library of Congress reasserted itself during the latter half of the 19th century under Librarian Ainsworth Rand Spofford who directed it from 1865 to 1897. He built broad bipartisan support for it as a national library and a legislative resource, aided by an overall expansion of the federal government and a favorable political climate. He began comprehensively collecting Americana and American literature, led the construction of a new building to house the library, and transformed the librarian of Congress position into one of strength and independence.