The First Librarian for the Library of Congress

For the first two years of its existence, from 1800 to 1802, the Library of Congress operated without a librarian. Initially, head librarians at the Library of Congress were appointed by the president and they were allowed to serve for life. In 1802, Thomas Jefferson appointed John J. Beckley to be the first librarian for the Library of Congress. Like many early presidential appointees, Mr. Beckley was active in early American Politics. Prior to assuming his position as librarian, John J. Beckley served as the campaign manager for Thomas Jefferson in the highly contentious presidential campaign of 1800. John J Beckley served as the head librarian until the time of his death in 1807. See the Library of Congress website for more reading on John J. Beckley and other Library of Congress librarians.

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