American Indians walked the land where the nation's capital city now stands long before Europeans arrived. Local historian Armand Lione shares that history when he talks about his research, much of which is conducted at the Library of Congress.
The Aeronautical Chart and Information Center of the U.S. Air Force created this photo-mosaic map of the moon in 1962, as part of the nation's drive to put astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade.
In 1154, Arab Muslim geographer al-Idrisi, working at the behest of King Roger of Sicily, created a huge map of the known world. The map was more than 9 feet long and composed of 70 separate section maps. The Library preserves a 1928 recreation of this map.
The remarkable career of Marie Tharp, the cartographer and scientist who helped map the ocean's floor for the first time in history, is preserved in her papers at the Library. A pioneering female scientist of 20th century, her work help lay the groundwork for the modern understanding of continental drift and plate tectonics.
The ceramics created by ancient Maya potters make for some of the most vibrantly colored objects that survive in the archaeological record of the Americas. John Hessler, curator of the Library's Kislak collection, explains how their distinctive blue color has survived for centuries.
German cartographer Martin Waldseemuller's 1507 world map was the first to name the New World as "America," for the Italian-born explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. The Library holds the only copy of the map known to still exist.
The Library's Geography and Map Division recently acquired a rare 18th-century carving of a Theravada Buddhist cosmography that originated in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). The Library's John Hessler translates and explains the nine-foot-tall carving.