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Library of Congress
Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Free admission
101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington D.C., 20540

The Basics

Impressive, stained glass windows and sculptures in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building welcome you to the Library of Congress. It is a working research library, and you can view historical documents and books in any of the 22 reading rooms. Guided tours can help you navigate the massive collection, and you can tailor them to specific points of interest or simply to get a varied overview of the collection. Alternatively, visit the Jefferson Building independently and enjoy its stained glass ceiling, marble columns, mosaics, and paintings.

The library is included on many guided sightseeing tours of DC, and is in close proximity to other attractions on and near the National Mall. Hop-on hop-off bus and trolley tours let you see many monuments in less time, and can help make the vast scale and number of sights in the capital more manageable.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Washington DC

star-5
Great overview
Jazz89, Mar 2020
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
we toured the outside and inside three of the most important buildings in DC: Capitol Building, Supreme Court and the Library of Congress. Donna the guide provided very clear history and function of each of these institutions, with great story telling. Its a great overview if you want to have an idea about these buildings in a single tour.
star-5
Best tour we did in DC
Julie_H, Mar 2020
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Wow! Donna was amazing! She had tons of energy, and so much knowledge about what we were visiting. Honestly we could have followed her around all day! Highly recommend!
star-5
What an experience!
deannaleebutts, Jan 2020
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Meghan was absolutely amazing! She was informative, funny, and a pleasure to learn from. The tour was the perfect length. Thank you!
star-5
Capitol Walking Tour
Tiffany_F, Aug 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Very informative tour. We had Bess as our tour guide and she was enthusiastic about several things and gave us lots of information about the history of the Library of Congress Building, Supreme Court Building, and Capitol Building. All of the buildings were beautiful and well worth the entire tour. It's a must see attraction if you are in Washington DC for vacation.
star-5
Trenton Boyz Visit the Capital Center
WILLIAM_B, Nov 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Our guide, Richard Robinson III was the best, His knowledge and ability to navigate the labyrinths of the Capital Center were greatly appreciated by our group. As an added treat he took the group to visit the Folger Shakespeare Library, not to be missed if you are a fan of Shakespeare fan!
star-5
A DC getaway.
jtater9, Oct 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
The tour was excellent & Brenda was so informative. We were very fortunate to have her all to ourselves ( two couples).
star-5
Great Tour!
Elizabeth W, Oct 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Very knowledgeable guide who pointed out details I had missed on prior trips to DC. Due to a Supreme Court event the guide rearranged the tour for maximum learning. Viewing the Senate Chambers was a highlight.
star-5
VERY Knowledgable
John B, Aug 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Jennifer, was a super guide, knew her Capital,,lucky to get her..thank you Jennifer,, Highly recommend ask for Jennifer
star-5
Awesome!!!
bokhremchuk, Jun 2019
Private Capitol Hill, Supreme Court and Library of Congress Tour
Our tour guide was super knowledgeable, enthusiastic, polite, and very nice. I got to learn quite a bit and the tour went by very smoothly. Thank you.

Thing to Know Before You Go

  • The Library of Congress is a must for history and literature buffs.

  • Visitors aged 18 or older with a valid ID can use the library.

  • As a research library, documents are available for visitors to look at within the library but may not be checked out.

  • The Jefferson Building’s visitors center has a multimedia information kiosk.

  • Washington DC has extreme seasons and weather. Check the forecast and dress accordingly.

  • All library buildings are accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Resources and services such as sign-language interpretations and touch tours are available; inquire in advance or upon arrival.

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How to Get There

The Library of Congress is located on Independence Avenue, just east of the Capitol, next to the Supreme Court building. The nearest metro station is Capitol South, and the library is also easily accessible by bus and on foot from many major DC attractions.

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Trip ideas


When to Go

The Thomas Jefferson Building is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Saturday; hours at the James Madison Memorial and John Adams buildings are typically from 8:30am to 9:30pm Monday through Saturday but vary daily. All buildings are closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The Madison Building hosts occasional concerts and film screenings. Check the LOC website for up-to-date information on events and opening hours.

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National Digital Library

The Library of Congress offers an online service that gives participants access to thousands of documents, maps, musical scores, photographs, and texts of famous speeches. Desks in the Jefferson Building’s Main Reading Room are wired for laptops, where you can peruse the vast digital archive on your own computer.

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