The Library of Congress is essentially the national library of the United States and the oldest federal cultural institution in the US. The library consists of three different buildings and is the largest library in the world as measured by shelf space and number of volumes. The library is open to the public, but as the research institution of Congress only members of Congress (and Supreme Court justices and certain other government officials) may check out books. Interestingly, the library serves a function as the “library of last resort” in the US, making certain items available to other United States libraries if they are not available via other means. The holdings of the library are impressive and varied, and include over 32 million books, more than 61 million manuscripts, a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, a perfect vellum copy of the Gutenberg Bible (one of only four in the world), over 1 million newspapers from the last three centuries, over 5 million maps, 6 million pieces of sheet music, and more than 14 millions photos and prints.