A Naming ceremony is an event at which a person or persons is assigned a name. Various countries participate with methods differing over cultures and religions; the timing at which a name is assigned can vary from some days after birth to several months or many years. Naming a child is through the baptism ceremony in Christianity Catholic culture, to a lesser degree among those Protestants who practice infant baptism. In Eastern Orthodoxy infants are traditionally named on the eighth day of life in a special service conducted either in the home or in church. Christians will adhere to local traditions of the land in which they were born. For example, in Kerala, the traditional Hindu custom of tying an aranjanam is followed in Christian families. In Hinduism, the ceremony is traditionally known as Namkaran or Namakarana Sanskar, this ceremony is conducted in an elaborate form on the 12th day after birth. In Kerala, this is called as Noolukettu; the Namakarma Sanskar is held after the first 11 nights of a baby's delivery.
These 11 post-natal days are considered as a period during which the child is adjusting to the new environment and thus vulnerable to infections. To ensure this, the mother and child are separated from the rest of the family during these 10 days where no one except a helper/ mothers mother is allowed to touch the baby or the mother. All festivals and events in the family and extended family are postponed by 11 nights. After those 11 nights, the house is sanctified for the ceremony; the mother and child are prepared for the ceremony. This is most to avoid infecting baby or mother. Relatives and close friends are invited to bless the child. Priests are called and an elaborate ritual takes place; the people involved in the baby naming ceremony are the parents of the newborn, the paternal and maternal grandparents and few close relatives and friends. In Maharashtra and among the Rajputs of Gujarat the paternal aunt has the honour of naming her brother's child; the child is dressed in new clothes and the mother wets the head of the baby with drops of water as a symbol of purifying the child.
In some communities, the baby is handed over to the paternal grandmother or the father who sits near the priest during the ritual. Where the paternal aunt names the child, she whispers the newborn his or her name in the ear and announces it to the gathered family and friends. In some communities or families, the sacred fire is lighted and the priest chants sacred hymns to invoke the Gods in heaven to bless the child.. This may differ from place to place. In some parts of Northern Kerala, grandfather whispers the child name and we can see the child's father naming the child and maternal uncle also; these function change from place to place. On this day baby is put into a cradle for the first time. In Kerala, a black thread and gold chain called an aranjanam are tied around the baby's waist on the 28th day. In certain parts of the state, it is performed on the 27th; the child's eyes are lined with kanmashi. A black spot is placed on asymmetrically on the forehead, to ward off the evil eyes; the grandfather whispers the chosen Hindu name in the child's right ear three times while the left ear is covered with a betel leaf.
This is repeated with the left ear. A mixture of ghee or honey is given to the infant as a base for its various foods in the future. At some places, an arati is performed for seven times with a lamp thread in a leaf. According to the date and time of birth of the child, a particular letter of the Sanskrit alphabet associated with the child's solar birth sign is chosen which would prove lucky for the baby; the baby is given a name starting with that letter. The grandfather whispers the name four times in the right ear of the baby. In Maharashtra, this is performed by the paternal aunt; the baby receives blessings from all, including the priests. An elaborate feast is organized as a closing event of the ceremony; the Namakaran Sanskar is performed on adult converts to Hinduism to mark their formal entrance into Hinduism. The convert chooses a Hindu name to declare his allegiance to Hinduism and his severance from his former religion. A Vedic fire sacrifice is performed and the convert writes his new name in a tray of uncooked rice.
In Maharashtra, traditionally women changed their birth-name upon marriage. The new name was selected by the husband to complement his own name. For example, a groom named Vishnu would change his bride's name to Laxmi, the mythological consort of Vishnu, Ramchandra would change his bride's name to Sita and so on; the husband writes the new name in a plate filled with dry uncooked rice grains. Some secular humanists perform a naming ceremony as a non-religious alternative to ceremonies such as christening; the purpose is to recognise and celebrate the arrival of a child and welcome him or her in the family and circle of friends. The structure reflects that of more traditional naming ceremonies, with a formal ceremony led by a humanist celebrant in which the parents name'guide parents','mentors' or'supporting adults' instead of godparents; this is followed by a celebratory party. In Islam, the baby is named on the seventh day by the mother and father who make a decision together on what the child should be called.
They choose an appropriate name Islamic, with a positive meaning. Aqiqah takes place on the seventh day this is a celebration which involves the slaughter of sheep. Sheep are sacrificed and the meat is distributed to relatives and neighbo
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Han folk religion or Shenism is the religious tradition of the Han Chinese, including veneration of forces of nature and ancestors, exorcism of harmful forces, a belief in the rational order of nature which can be influenced by human beings and their rulers as well as spirits and gods. Worship is devoted to a multiplicity of gods and immortals, who can be deities of phenomena, of human behaviour, or progenitors of lineages. Stories regarding some of these gods are collected into the body of Chinese mythology. By the 11th century, these practices had been blended with Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth, Taoist teachings about hierarchies of gods, to form the popular religious system which has lasted in many ways until the present day. Chinese religions have a variety of sources, local forms, founder backgrounds, ritual and philosophical traditions. Despite this diversity, there is a common core that can be summarised as four theological and moral concepts: Tian, the transcendent source of moral meaning.
Yin and yang is the polarity that describes the order of the universe, held in balance by the interaction of principles of growth and principles of waning, with yang preferred over yin in common religion. Ling, "numen" or "sacred", is the inchoate order of creation. Both the present day government of China and the imperial dynasties of the Ming and Qing tolerated village popular religious cults if they bolstered social stability but suppressed or persecuted those that they feared would undermine it. After the fall of the empire in 1911, governments and elites opposed or attempted to eradicate folk religion in order to promote "modern" values, many condemned "feudal superstition"; these conceptions of folk religion began to change in Taiwan in the late 20th century and in mainland China in the 21st. Many scholars now view folk religion in a positive light. In recent times Chinese folk religions are experiencing a revival in Taiwan; some forms have received official understanding or recognition as a preservation of traditional Chinese culture, such as Mazuism and the Sanyi teaching in Fujian, Huangdi worship, other forms of local worship, for example the Longwang, Pangu or Caishen worship.
Chinese "popular religion" or "folk religion" or "folk belief" have long been used to indicate the local and communal religious life and complexities of Han local indigenous cults of China in English-language academic literature, though the Chinese language has not had a concept or overarching name for this. In Chinese academic literature and common usage "folk religion" refers to specific organised folk religious sects. "Folk beliefs" is a technical term with little usage outside the academia, in which it entered into usage at first among Taiwanese scholars from Japanese language during Japan's occupation, between the 1990s and the early 21st century among mainland Chinese scholars. With the rise of the study of traditional cults and the creation of a government agency to give legal status to this religion and philosophers in China have proposed the adoption of a formal name in order to solve the terminological problems of confusion with folk religious sects and conceptualise a definite field for research and administration.
The terms that have been proposed include "Chinese native religion" or "Chinese indigenous religion", "Chinese ethnic religion", or simply "Chinese religion" viewed as comparable to the usage of the term "Hinduism" for Indian religion, "Shenxianism" inspired by the term "Shenism", used in the 1950s by the anthropologist Allan J. A. Elliott; the Qing dynasty scholars Yao Wendong and Chen Jialin used the term shenjiao not referring to Shinto as a definite religious system, but to local shin beliefs in Japan. Other definitions that have been used are "folk cults","spontaneous religion", "lived religion", "local religion", "diffused religion"."Shendao" is a term used in the Yijing referring to the divine order of nature. Around the time of the spread of Buddhism in the Han period, it was used to distinguish the indigenous religion from the imported religion. Ge Hong used it in his Baopuzi as a synonym for Taoism; the term was subsequently adopted in Japan in the 6th century as Shindo Shinto, with the same purpose of identification of the Japanese indigenous religion.
In the 14th century, the Hongwu Emperor used the term "Shendao" identifying the indigenous cults, which he strengthened and systematised."Chinese Universism", not in the sense of "universalism", a system of universal application, Tian in Chinese thought, is a coinage of Jan Jakob Maria de Groot that refers to the metaphysical perspective that lies behind the Chinese religious tradition. De Groot calls Chinese Universism "the ancient metaphysical view that serves as the basis of all classical Chine
The Ahom, or Tai-Ahom is an Tai ethnic group found today in Assam and Arunachal states of India. They are the descendants of the Tai people who reached the Brahmaputra valley of Assam in 1228 and the local people who joined them over the course of history. Sukaphaa, the leader of the Tai group and his 9000 followers established the Ahom kingdom, which controlled the Bramhaputra Valley and the territory of modern Assam until the British gained control in 1826. Though the Ahom made up a small portion of the kingdom's population, they maintained their original Ahom language and practiced their traditional religion till the 17th-century, when the Ahom court as well as the commoners adopted the Assamese language, Ekasarana dharma and Saktism religions; the modern Ahom people and their culture are a syncretism of the original Tai and their culture and local Tibeto-Burman peoples and their cultures they absorbed in Assam. Some local ethnic groups, including the Tibeto-Burman speaking Borahi, were subsumed into the Ahom community.
They represent the largest Tai group in India, with a population of nearly 1.2 million in Assam, are one of the major ethnic group in the North Bank and Upper Assam Division. Ahom people are found in Upper Assam and North Bank districts of Golaghat, Sibsagar, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, they are an important ethnic group in Karbi Anglong. Tai Ahoms are found in large numbers in Lohit District of Arunachal Pradesh; the Tai speaking people came into prominence first in the Guangxi region, from where they moved to mainland Southeast Asia in the middle of the 11th century after a long and fierce battle with the Chinese. The Tai-Ahoms are traced to the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar. According to chronicles kept by the Ahoms—Sukaphaa, a Tai prince of Mong Mao, accompanied by his family, five nobles and many followers men, crossed the Patkai hills and reached the Brahmaputra valley in 1228, they came with a higher technology of wet-rice cultivation extant and a tradition of writing, record keeping and state formation.
They settled to the east of the Dikho river. In the initial phase, the band of followers of Sukaphaa moved about for nearly thirty years and mixed with the local population, he moved from place to place. He made peace with the Borahi and Moran ethnic groups, he and his male followers married into them, creating an admixed population identified as Ahoms; the Borahis, a Tibeto-Burman people, were subsumed into the Ahom fold, though the Moran maintained their independent ethnicity. Sukaphaa established his capital at Charaideo near present-day Sivasagar in 1253 and began the task of state formation; the Ahoms believed that they were divinely ordained to bring fallow land under the plow with their techniques of wet-rice cultivation, to adopt stateless shifting cultivators into their fold. They were conscious of their numerical minority; as a result, the Ahom polity absorbed Naga and Moran, large sections of the Chutiya and the Dimasa-Kachari peoples. This process of Ahomisation went on for till mid-16th century when the Ahom society itself came under the direct Hindu influence.
That many indigenous peoples were ceremonially adopted into Ahom clans are recorded in the chronicles. Since the Ahoms married liberally outside their own exogamous clans and since their own traditional religion resembled the religious practices of the indigenous peoples, the assimilation under Ahomisation had little impediment. In the 16th- and 17th-centuries, the small Ahom community expanded their rule toward the west and they saw off challenges from Mughal and other invaders, gaining them recognition in world history; the rapid expansion resulted in the Ahom people becoming a small minority in their own kingdom, of which they kept control. The Ahom court, as well as the Ahom peasants took to Ekasarana dharma and Saivism over the traditional Ahom religion; the everyday usage of Ahom language ceased by early 19th-century. The loss of religions is nearly complete, with only a few priestly families practicing some aspects of it. While the written language survive in a vast number of written manuscripts, much of the spoken language is lost because the Ahom script does not mark tone and under-specifies vowel contrasts.
Though the first political organization was created in 1893 it was in 1954 when Ahom connection to other Tai groups in Assam were formally established. The traditional Social system of Tai-Ahom people was known as Ban-Mong, related to agriculture and based on irrigation; the Ban or Ban Na is a unit composed of families. While many Bans together forms a Mong which refers state. Ahom clans, called phoids, formed socio-political entities. At the time of ingress into Assam, or soon thereafter, there were seven important clans, called Satghariya Ahoms. There were Su/Tsu clan. Soon the Satghariya group was expanded—four addition
Animism is the religious belief that objects and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence. Animism perceives all things—animals, rocks, weather systems, human handiwork and even words—as animated and alive. Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the belief system of many indigenous peoples in contrast to the more recent development of organised religions. Although each culture has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples' "spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives; the animistic perspective is so held and inherent to most indigenous peoples that they do not have a word in their languages that corresponds to "animism". Due to such ethnolinguistic and cultural discrepancies, opinion has differed on whether animism refers to an ancestral mode of experience common to indigenous peoples around the world, or to a full-fledged religion in its own right; the accepted definition of animism was only developed in the late 19th century by Sir Edward Tylor, who created it as "one of anthropology's earliest concepts, if not the first".
Animism encompasses the beliefs that all material phenomena have agency, that there exists no hard and fast distinction between the spiritual and physical world and that soul or spirit or sentience exists not only in humans, but in other animals, rocks, geographic features such as mountains or rivers or other entities of the natural environment, including thunder and shadows. Animism may further attribute souls to abstract concepts such as words, true names or metaphors in mythology; some members of the non-tribal world consider themselves animists. Earlier anthropological perspectives, which have since been termed the "old animism", were concerned with knowledge on what is alive and what factors make something alive; the "old animism" assumed that animists were individuals who were unable to understand the difference between persons and things. Critics of the "old animism" have accused it of preserving "colonialist and dualist worldviews and rhetoric"; the idea of animism was developed by the anthropologist Sir Edward Tylor in his 1871 book Primitive Culture, in which he defined it as "the general doctrine of souls and other spiritual beings in general".
According to Tylor, animism includes "an idea of pervading life and will in nature". That formulation was little different from that proposed by Auguste Comte as "fetishism", but the terms now have distinct meanings. For Tylor, animism represented the earliest form of religion, being situated within an evolutionary framework of religion which has developed in stages and which will lead to humanity rejecting religion altogether in favor of scientific rationality. Thus, for Tylor, animism was fundamentally seen as a mistake, a basic error from which all religion grew, he did not believe that animism was inherently illogical, but he suggested that it arose from early humans' dreams and visions and thus was a rational system. However, it was based on unscientific observations about the nature of reality. Stringer notes that his reading of Primitive Culture led him to believe that Tylor was far more sympathetic in regard to "primitive" populations than many of his contemporaries and that Tylor expressed no belief that there was any difference between the intellectual capabilities of "savage" people and Westerners.
Tylor had wanted to describe the phenomenon as "spiritualism" but realised that would cause confusion with the modern religion of Spiritualism, prevalent across Western nations. He adopted the term "animism" from the writings of the German scientist Georg Ernst Stahl, who, in 1708, had developed the term animismus as a biological theory that souls formed the vital principle and that the normal phenomena of life and the abnormal phenomena of disease could be traced to spiritual causes; the first known usage in English appeared in 1819. The idea that there had once been "one universal form of primitive religion" has been dismissed as "unsophisticated" and "erroneous" by the archaeologist Timothy Insoll, who stated that "it removes complexity, a precondition of religion now, in all its variants". Tylor's definition of animism was a part of a growing international debate on the nature of "primitive society" by lawyers and philologists; the debate defined the field of research of a new science: anthropology.
By the end of the 19th century, an orthodoxy on "primitive society" had emerged, but few anthropologists still would accept that definition. The "19th-century armchair anthropologists" argued "primitive society" was ordered by kinship and was divided into exogamous descent groups related by a series of marriage exchanges, their religion was the belief that natural species and objects had souls. With the development of private property, the descent groups were displaced by the emergence of the territorial state; these rituals and beliefs evolved over time into the vast array of "developed" religions. According to Tylor, the more scientifically advanced a society became, the fewer members of that society believed in animism. However, any remnant ideologies of souls or spirits, to Tylor, represented "survivals" of the original animism of early humanity. In 1869, the Edinburgh lawyer
A spirit house is a shrine to the protective spirit of a place, found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Laos, Malaysia and the Philippines. The spirit house is in the form of small roofed structure, is mounted on a pillar or on a dais, they can range in size from small platforms to houses large enough for people to enter. Spirit houses are intended to provide a shelter for spirits that could cause problems for the people if not appeased; the shrines include images or carved statues of people and animals. Votive offerings are left at the house to propitiate the spirits. More elaborate installations include an altar for this purpose. In Indochina, most houses and businesses have a spirit house placed in an auspicious spot, most in a corner of the property; the location may be chosen after consultation with a Brahmin priest. Spirit houses are known as နတ ကွန း in Burmese. In maritime Southeast Asia, spirit houses are connected to the various traditional animistic rituals involving spirits.
In the Philippines, spirit houses are dedicated to ceremonies or offerings involving the anito spirits. They are known magdantang in Visayan. In Thailand, it is a long-standing tradition to leave offerings of food and drink at the spirit house. Rice, bananas and desserts are common offerings. Most ubiquitous is strawberry-flavoured Fanta; the idea seems to be that friendly spirits will congregate to enjoy free food and drink and their presence will serve to keep more malign spirits at bay. The popularity of red Fanta offerings has existed for decades. Opinions as to "why Fanta?" vary. Most point to the significance of the colour red, reminiscent of animal sacrifice, or related to the practice of anchoring red incense sticks in a glass of water which promptly tints the water red. Sweetness is explained by the observation that sweet spirits have sweet tooths
The Shan are a Tai ethnic group of Southeast Asia. The Shan live in the Shan State of Burma, but inhabit parts of Mandalay Region, Kachin State, Kayin State, in adjacent regions of China, Laos and Thailand. Though no reliable census has been taken in Burma since 1935, the Shan are estimated to number 4–6 million, with CIA Factbook giving an estimation of 5 million spread throughout Myanmar; the capital of Shan State is the fifth-largest city in Myanmar with about 390,000 people. Other major cities include Thibaw, Lashio and Tachileik; the major groups of Shan people are: Thai Yai. Tai Lü or Tai Lue, its traditional area is located in the eastern states. Tai Khuen or Tai Khün, a subgroup of the Tai Yai making up the majority in the Keng Tung area; the former ruling family of Kengtung State belonged to this group. Tai Nüa or Tai Neua. The'upper' or'northern Tai'; this group lives north of the Shweli River in the area of Dehong, China. There are various ethnic groups designated as Tai throughout Shan State, Sagaing Division and Kachin State.
Some of these groups in fact speak Tibeto-Burman and Mon-Khmer and Assamese language, although they are assimilated into Shan society. Tai Ahom: The Tai Ahom people live in India's northeastern state of Assam where tradition says that they established the Ahom kingdom and ruled for 600 years, they speak Assamese as their mother tongue and are a part of the Indigenous Assamese people, though there is an effort to revive the Ahom language. Tai Mao, living in the area along the banks of the Shweli River. Chinese Shan language is known as Mao, referring to the old Shan State of Mong Mao. Tai Khamti; the Tai Khamti an outlier group speaking the Khamti language. Traditionally they lived in the northernmost and westernmost edges of Shan-settled areas, such as Putao-O, Kachin State. Part of the Tai Khamti were once ruled by the Mongkawng Shan. Tai Laing or Tai Leng, a Tai group living north of Myitkyina in the Kachin / Shan State border area. Tai Ting, a group living around the confluence of the Ting and Salween rivers, just to the west of Gengma County, China.
Tai Taɯ: Taɯ means'under' or'south.' This group lives in southern Shan State. Tai Nui, a group living to the south and east of Kengtung town. Tai Phake. Related to the Tai Khamti, this group has a significant presence in India. Tai Saʔ; the Tai Saʔ are part of mainstream Shan society. Tai Loi; the Tai Loi speak a Palaungic language resembling Silver Palaung. They take part in mainstream Shan society. Tai Dam: Also known as the "Black Tai." Tai Don: Also known as the "White Tai." Maingtha, a Shan group that speaks a Northern Burmish language The majority of Shan are Theravada Buddhists, the Shan constitute one of the four main Buddhist ethnic groups in Burma. Most Shan are bilingual in Burmese; the Shan language, spoken by about 5 or 6 million, is related to Thai and Lao, is part of the family of Tai languages. It is spoken in Shan State, some parts of Kachin State, some parts of Sagaing Division in Burma, parts of Yunnan, in parts of northwestern Thailand, including Mae Hong Son Province and Chiang Mai Province.
The two major dialects differ in number of tones: Hsenwi Shan has six tones, while Mongnai Shan has five. The Shan script is an adaptation of the Mon script via the Burmese script. However, few Shan are literate in their own language; the Shan are traditionally wet-rice cultivators and artisans. The Tai-Shan people are believed to have migrated from Yunnan in China; the Shan are descendants of the oldest branch of the Tai-Shan, known as Tai Yai. The Tai-Shan who migrated to the south and now inhabit modern-day Laos and Thailand are known as Tai Noi, while those in parts of northern Thailand and Laos are known as Tai Noi The Shan have inhabited the Shan Plateau and other parts of modern-day Burma as far back as the 10th century AD; the Shan kingdom of Mong Mao existed as early as the 10th century CE but became a Burmese vassal state during the reign of King Anawrahta of Pagan. After the Pagan Kingdom fell to the Mongols in 1287, the Tai-Shan peoples gained power throughout Southeast Asia, founded: Many Ava and Pegu kings of Burmese history between the 13th-16th centuries were of Shan descent.
The kings of Ava fought kings of Pegu for control of Irrawaddy valley. Various Shan states fought Ava for the control of Upper Burma; the states of Monyhin and Mogaung were the strongest of the Shan States. Monhyin-led Confederation of Shan States defeated Ava in 1527, ruled all of Upper Burma until 1555; the Burmese king Bayinnaung conquered all of the Shan states in 1557. Although the Shan states would become a tributary to Irrawaddy valley based Burmese kingdoms from on, the Shan Saophas retained a large degree of autonomy. Throughout the Burmese feudal era, Shan states supplied much manpower in the service of Burmese kings. Without Shan manpower, it would have been harder for the Burmans alone to achieve their victories in Lower Burma and elsewhere. Shans were a major part of Burmese forces in the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824-1826, fought valiantly—a fact even
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi