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National Library (Biblioteca Nacional)

Fishburn and Hughes: The National Library is now situated in the old part of Buenos Aires, in Barrio Sur. It was founded as the Public Library on 7 September 1810, immediately after the declaration of Independence. The first Director was Paul Groussac, a French scholar much admired by Borges. Borges's appointment to the directorship in 1955 came at a time when his eyesight was failing, an event poignantly remembered in 'Poem of the Gifts' (Sel. Poems 129). The library houses three copies of every book published in Argentina, and any related work published abroad. Of its 650,000 volumes, Borges remarked: 'It's almost infinity, isn't it?' The building is an imposing edifice, but in almost total decay. The Elderly Lady