Thus, by the end of the century, a particular community of educated men, determined to make a decisive contribution to their new country, in spite of their diverse political views and the complex situation that prevailed in the country, such as wars with neighboring nations, undertook the task of broadening their perspectives with ideas from other Continents, in order to link their new country to modernity, to the cutting edge of culture, committing themselves to, in a word, govern optimally. To this end, a congressional library was needed to address the issues and needs arising from the nation’s development and the respective debate in Congress, to conserve the political memory of the country, and to nurture thought about what Chile should become. That Library is now the Library of the National Congress of Chile.
The Library of the National Congress of Chile: 120 years of history
Qur Institution carne into being as the Library of the House of Representatives in 1882, thanks to the initiative of the Representative from Petorca, Mr. Pedro Montt Montt, who later became President of Chile (1906-1910). The Chamber Gazette of June 12, 1883 indicates that “the present budget includes the amount of 1,500 pesos for the development of the Library of the Chamber”, to be ernployed by Mr. Montt to acquire books in Europe for the Library. The Library of Congress was first mentioned as such in the lst Extraordinary Session of the Senate, on November l4th 1883, which indicates measures to “foster the Líbrary of Congress”
The Library was inítially installed on the second floor of the Congress Building in Santiago. This buílding was the seat of the Legislative Power until 1973, having been built between 1858 and 1876 in the political hub of the Chilean capital. Mr. Pedro Montt, (1849-1910), had received a careful and exacting education frorn renowned teachers, at the Instituto Nacional and his own father, who was also President of the Republic, (1851-1861), Mr. Manuel Montt Torres.
With such a background, Mr. Pedro Montt could do no less. He obtained his law degree in 1870 and was elected as substitute Representative in 1870 and