Library of Congress goes mobile with “Virtual Tour” app

virtual tour home screen

The Library of Congress just keeps on keeping on, don’t they? First they agree to archive Twitter. Then, they say it’s OK to jailbreak your iPhone and copy your DVDs for educational use. Now, they’ve released an iPhone app that will take you on a virtual tour of some of the beauty of the building and its collections. From the announcement:

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.

The app itself is easy and fun to use, each page of the exhibits includes a description, photographs and audio or video to accompany if available. Some screenshots are below.

Most of this content is already on the website; the virtual tours there take advantage of Silverlight and are quite something that you just can’t replicate on a 5-inch screen. However, that doesn’t stop this app from providing a great tour experience, one that would be a fantastic companion, especially in the halls of the library itself.


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