Library of Congress

Library, Historic Site, and Government Building
101 Independence Ave SE (btwn 1st & 2nd St. SE), Washington DC, D.C. 20540, United States
None listed (See when people check in)

People tend to check in during these times:

  • Today
    • None
  • Mon
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Tue–Thu
    • 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Fri
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 10:00 AM–5:00 PM

The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.


Based on 1662 votes

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111 Tips

People talk about:

  • "... unless you have a library card. fortunately the library card is free and..." (7 tips)
  • "The Largest Library in the World not under one roof getting there is a bit..." (3 tips)
  • "... retains more than 145 million items filling the equivalent of some 745 miles of..." (3 tips)

    Created in 1800 the library is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution & the largest library in the world. In 1815 Thomas Jefferson sold his entire personal collection of books to the library

    HISTORY · April 1, 2010
  • Travel Channel

    In the Library of Congress, the tattered diary of Dr. Frederick Cook provokes one of exploration’s fiercest debates: who was the first person to actually reach the North Pole?

    Travel Channel · November 15, 2010
  • Charles E.

    Swing by at Christmas time, it's fascinating!

    Charles Edge · January 14, 2012
  • Tasha M.

    The Jefferson building is covered in beautiful artwork that is dripping in symbolism. Take advantage of the free tours to really get the most out of this visit!

    Tasha Major · May 17, 2010
  • C-SPAN

    Check out this video of Mark Dimunation, Chief of Rare Book & Special Collections at the LOC, discussing The Federalists Papers. Read more

    C-SPAN · December 14, 2010
  • C-SPAN

    It would take you 24 years to see all the photos in the Library of Congress, at a photo per minute. Check out C-SPAN’s “Library of Congress” documentary. Clip from the documentary here on YouTube. Read more

    C-SPAN · July 19, 2011
  • Fabian

    There's an underground passage that connects to the US Capitol Visitors Center, its much faster than taking the sidewalk outside.

    Fabian · March 28, 2010
  • Emily Y.

    Check out the Gutenberg Bible!!

    Emily Yeager · July 12, 2010
  • C-SPAN

    Watch C-SPAN’s “Library of Congress” original documentary on Monday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

    C-SPAN · June 28, 2011
  • James C.

    Get a readers pass to access the shelves at the library of congress

    James Campbell · October 3, 2009
  • C-SPAN

    It would take 60,000 yrs to go through all the books in the Library of Congress, at 1 book per day. Check out C-SPAN’s “Library of Congess” documentary. Clip from the documentary here on YouTube. Read more

    C-SPAN · July 19, 2011
  • M Squared Real Estate

    The main reading room is known as the Sacred Room, and is absolutely stunning.

    M Squared Real Estate · August 20, 2011
  • bryan r.

    Check out the basement. Take the elevator down to the bottom floor, and you'll be in a sub basement of the Library. Dont worry, you're allowed to be there! Wander the passages to find the office wh

    bryan rudin · December 2, 2009
  • U.S. Capitol

    Immediately after it opened in 1897, the Library of Congress was widely considered to be the most beautiful, educational and interesting building in Washington. Read more

    U.S. Capitol · December 29, 2011
  • U.S. Capitol

    Opened in 1980, measuring 500 feet wide and 400 feet deep, the Madison Building is the largest library structure in the world. Read more

    U.S. Capitol · December 29, 2011
  • Jared P.

    Get your reader card from the Madison building room 140 to gain access to the main reading room. The buildings are connected by an underground walkway (take the elevator to the Ground level).

    Jared Philippe · November 22, 2010
  • AIA National

    Architects John Smithmeyer and Paul Pelz based their design of the front facade partly on the Paris Opera House. More than 40 painters and sculptors were involved in the building's decoration. Read more

    AIA National · March 9, 2011
  • Michael S.

    One of the best interiors in DC. A must for history fans. Take the Metro to Capitol South and walk two blocks north to building. Avoid driving.

    Michael Stroud · July 13, 2010
  • Michelin Travel & Lifestyle

    The Library of Congress retains more than 145 million items filling the equivalent of some 745 miles of shelves! Free guided tours offered throughout the week. -- Green Guide Editor

    Michelin Travel & Lifestyle · August 16, 2011
  • Dylan C.

    What's cooler than a library card to the Library of Congress?! Get your own by going to room LM140!

    Dylan Conn · October 30, 2011
  • Dora

    The Young Readers Center is located on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Powered by

    Dora · July 21, 2010
  • Now Owl

    Hang out at the picnic tables at the top of the steps on the Independence/penn side. Grab a frozen yogurt from across the street and enjoy!

    Now Owl · April 12, 2011
  • Cassy A.

    The Main Reading Room provides reference services in the humanities and social sciences. Access provided to millions of items. Please visit

    Cassy Ammen · February 24, 2011
  • Zuhair M.

    The wireless network here allows you to access databases not otherwise accessible outside the library. Check it out.

    Zuhair Mahmoud · December 28, 2010

    You can access the NAACP archives in the Manuscript Division, located in Madison 101. Also, make sure you check out the NAACP Online Exhibition at

    NAACP · December 2, 2010
  • Jeff C.

    The Jefferson Library is amazing!

    Jeff Corns · March 26, 2011
  • Da_Badguy™

    Ahhh Nice place to rest....

    Da_Badguy™ · June 9, 2010
  • Julie G.

    Absolutely gorgeous and gaudy architecture- great for a cold day in DC, when you just want to wander around indoors.

    Julie Gerdes · May 24, 2010
  • Armie

    On the second floor, visitors can explore Thomas Jefferson's Library, featuring thousands of original volumes that provided the foundation for the Library of Congress & it's universal collections

    Armie · August 6, 2013
  • Chuq Y.

    You can get a library card from the Library of Congress! Come on, that's cool!

    Chuq Yang · November 2, 2011
  • WorldStrides

    Interesting fact: preserved at the Library are a draft of the Declaration of Independence, Lincoln’s first drafts of his Gettysburg Address, and the papers of 23 presidents from Washington to Coolidge

    WorldStrides · April 8, 2011
  • Ben D.

    Bring your USB drive to use the super awesome scanner instead of the oldschool xerox

    Ben Droz · October 12, 2011
  • Michele G.

    The cafe on the 6th floor has a great view!

    Michele Grosspietsch · August 5, 2011
  •  ❧ Philanthropist V.

    The Building is P H E N O M E N A L !!! The Jefferson collection and the Gutenberg Bible are a treat !

  • Joann T.

    Make sure you go online b4 trip to receive permission to enter reading room for research and fill out application for a Library of Congress library card.

    Joann Tyree · November 4, 2013
  • Bill R.

    Watch "National Treasure 2" to see some cool scenes filmed at the Library. There is also a special feature on the DVD about the Library

    Bill Ruvinsky · September 25, 2013
  • Jose C.

    If you really want to get a great, in-depth tour, try to get Tom Hoban. He's great!!

    Jose Caballero · August 17, 2013
  • Andrey K.

    Free Wi-Fi

    Andrey Kuznetsov · August 17, 2012
  • Tripsetc T.

    The Largest Library in the World not under one roof getting there is a bit cumbersome however if you have easy access a membership is well worth it. They have any book you might think of.

    Tripsetc Travel Company · August 14, 2011
  • Summer H.

    "Step inside the Reading Room and have your mind blown!"- Michael, MSB'13

    Summer Hoya · May 16, 2012
  • Sam S.

    The Declaration of Independence is NOT in this building. Go to Nat'l Archives on Penn and 7th.

    Sam Susz · April 7, 2012
  • Slava F.

    Check out young reader center on the ground floor.

    Slava Frid · July 15, 2011
  • Thompson Hotels

    Head to the Main Reading Room… trust us.

    Thompson Hotels · June 14, 2011
  • Charlena B.

    to avoid cold/hot weather follow signs on level G entrance near Capitol South metro

    Charlena Brooks · January 7, 2011
  • David R.

    Best researcher access: John Adams building. No tourists, rarely a line.

    David Rotenstein · October 4, 2010
  • Pablo M.

    The Librarians in the Hispanic Reading Room are extraordinarily helpful & thorough. Read more

    Pablo Manriquez · August 3, 2010
  • حيدر ب.

    مرحبا كو نغرس ارجوكم ساعدو اهليه موصل

  • boonlalala

    just can see the main room through the big glass unless you have a library card. fortunately the library card is free and it takes about 30 mins to have one

    boonlalala · January 22
  • Paulo M.

    Take the free guided tour. It is definitely worth it!

    Paulo Marzionna · July 13, 2013

    The library of congress happens to be the largest library on planet and one of our favorite hiding spots!

    BROADS · April 29, 2013

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