Shiny, Appy People: Library Gets iPhone App

Developers for the iPhone and iPad have been able to say “there’s an app for that” about a quarter-million times–the total number currently available in Apple’s App Store.  But not until now has there been an official app for the Library of Congress.  (So far it’s the first and only app–don’t be fooled by imitators!)

Yesterday we launched the Library of Congress Virtual Tour.  It’s an ideal companion to an on-site tour, as much of its content tracks with the Library of Congress Experience in the Jefferson Building.  But if you can’t make it to Washington, the app is the best substitute that’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

Click here to learn more and download it.

The app includes highlights of exhibitions and architectural features, with photos, audio by curators and other experts, links to more detailed online exhibitions, and even a video about the history of Thomas Jefferson’s Library, which in 1815 reconstituted the Library of Congress after the British burned the Capitol in the War of 1812.  The architectural photos come courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith, who has been donating magnificent collections of images to the Library copyright-free, for the American people.

Like all iPhone apps, it also works on the iPhone Touch and iPad (in the standard 1x/2x resolution options, of course).

The app was developed by three of our very own talented staff.  While this is the first mobile app for the Library, we hope it won’t be the last.  There are so many collections and services at the Library of Congress that could be quite useful on a pocket-sized device, and there are also other mobile platforms that are growing in popularity.

So what do you think of our app?


  1. Robb
    August 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    How about an Android app?

  2. lentigogirl
    August 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Congratulations!! I only have a stupid phone. Good thing I can see the same stuff on the Library’s website!

  3. -dk
    August 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Well done. I recently visited the stunning Library of Congress and will enjoy this in-depth return trip. Whether you’ve been there or not, this app is beautifully designed.

  4. DrWeb
    August 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Fab! Please Android next!

  5. JB
    August 4, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Make an app for Droids! There’s a whole market you’re missing here!

  6. Elizabeth Thomsen
    August 4, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Great to see the LOC go mobile, but disappointing to see this developed as an app for a single platform. What about the rest of the mobile world: Android, Blackberry, etc.?

  7. Michael Everson
    August 6, 2010 at 7:36 am

    A lovely app. Interesting an informative.

    What I hoped for, though, was an interface to the online catalogue.

    Bibliographically yours,
    Michael Everson

  8. LL
    August 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Yes, please, Android next!

  9. Megan
    August 9, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Would love an Android app!

  10. gcarter
    August 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    It’s a nice App! Worthy of downloading.

    I have to say, I downloaded the App and it’s really nice to have. I had the 1.0.0 version and it was quite buggy. But the recent 1.0.1 version has removed the numerous crashes the first version had.

    I’ve never been to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, etc. But I love the history of where we’ve been as a people.

    The Library of Congress App is a good start to what I hope is many to come for historical sites across the nation that will not only educate, but also bring the viewer into the location with pictures, video, and sound bits about each location and the surrounding architecture.

    Good job on this one!

  11. Miguel Correia
    August 13, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Go for Android, as well.

  12. orawan
    August 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    Android now!!!

  13. Orawan
    August 25, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Android anyway.

  14. Iphone 5
    March 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Would love an Android app! Thanks

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