The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with 2.9 million volumes, including one of the world’s best rare law book collections and the most complete collection of foreign legal gazettes in the United States.
One of the oldest public libraries in the country opened in 1790 in Franklin, Massachusetts, where residents circulated books donated by Benjamin Franklin. The Founding Father once started his own lending library in 1731 in Philadelphia called the Library Company, but it required a subscription fee of 40 shillings.
The world’s biggest library in terms of catalog depth is the Library of Congress (LOC), which has 168 million items. That record is a rebound from a calamity in 1814, when the then-14-year-old collection of 3000 volumes was destroyed after British troops burned the Capitol building.