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Library of Congress launches new ‘Collecting Memories’ exhibit in a bid to draw more tourists

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Library of Congress is unveiling an eclectic new exhibit drawing on the institution’s vast historical archives and designed to make the library a more popular and accessible destination for visitors and tourists.

“Collecting Memories” — which opens to the public on June 13 — is an intensely curated exhibit that brings together items as varied as ancient Hebrew religious texts, the contents of President Abraham Lincoln’s pockets when he was assassinated in 1865, the first sketches of Spider-Man and videos of Carlos Santana in concert.

“These items are an expression of our collective history,” said Carla Hayden, the official librarian of Congress. “We want people to see themselves in our exhibit.”

The new exhibit is part of a campaign to make the Library of Congress more attractive to everyday tourists and school groups. David Rubenstein, the prominent local philanthropist who donated $10 million to the initiative, said the goal was to make the Library of Congress a regular part of tourist itineraries along with the monuments and various museums.

“You usually don’t go to the Library of Congress because you don’t know that the Library of Congress is more than just a library,” Rubinstein said.

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Housed in the Thomas Jefferson Building, next door to the Supreme Court and across the street from the Capitol, the

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