On April 24, 1800 the Library of Congress was established with a grant of $5000.00. Originally it was established as a legislative library.
"The Library of Congress was established as the fledgling legislature of the new Republic prepared to move from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. On April 24, 1800, Pres. John Adams approved legislation that appropriated $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress." The first books, ordered from London, arrived in 1801 and were stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library's first home. The collection consisted of 740 volumes and three maps.
"On January 26, 1802, Pres. Thomas Jefferson approved the first law defining the role and functions of the new institution. This measure created the post of Librarian of Congress and gave Congress, through a Joint Committee on the Library, the authority to establish the Library's budget and its rules and regulations. From the beginning, however, the institution was more than just a legislative library, for the 1802 law made the appointment of the Librarian of Congress a presidential responsibility. It also permitted the president and vice president to borrow books, a privilege that, in the next three decades, was extended to most government agencies and to the judiciary. A separate law department was approved in 1832, along with an appropriation to purchase law books under the guidance of the chief justice of the United States." taken from the library of Congress. Jefferson's Legacy: A Brief History of the Library of Congress.